What will Kuzya’s usage tell us about Adam Oates as a coach? (Photo: Chris Gordon)
The Capitals got two out of six points this week. They’re currently 18 points behind the division-leading Penguins and two points out of third place, behind the Rangers, who have a game in hand. While the team’s distance from first illustrates how far they are from challenging for the Cup, their proximity to the playoffs might be a bit misleading.
The Caps haven’t won a lot of games in rego or overtime this season (just 22), which is the basis for tiebreakers in the standings. Finishing the 82-game season with the same number of points as the last wild card team would mean the Caps are bound for the golf course, so they’re gonna have to leapfrog a team– or hope someone else melts down.
In this week’s snapshot, we’ll look at which teams might helpfully implode to make way for the Caps!
These are the numbers as of noon (or maybe eleven AM, or maybe 1 PM, stupid daylight savings) on Sunday, March 9th. The sample is restricted to 5-on-5 play while the score is close. That means within one goal in the first two periods and tied in the third. That way special teams, blowouts, and comebacks don’t color the data. Stats of note are highlighted in powderpuff pink and discussed below.
Alright, now let’s do this. It’s not like the Caps’ destiny is out of their hands, but everything we’ve seen so far tells us they’ll probably miss the playoffs. If they make the playoffs, it’ll be because something has changed. The bullets above detail some ways the team could make that happen. Now let’s chat about what other teams could do to flame out and then root for that to happen.
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