It was a good weekend for the Washington Capitals. On top of snapping a decades-long losing streak in San Jose, the Caps got pretty favorable results on the Alchemax Out-of-Town Scoarboard.

  • The Toronto Maple Leafs continued their free fall, losing to the Devils in rego.
  • The Detroit Red Wings stole a loser point from overtime, but lost on a nifty goal by Matt Moulson.
  • The Columbus Blue Jackets got shut out by Evgeni Nabokov.

The result: The Caps are basically one point out of the playoffs.

I hate saying “x games in hand all the time,” but I’ll do it this once. Detroit leads the Caps by one point with one game in hand. Toronto also leads the Caps by one point, but the Caps have one game in hand. The Blue Jackets are one point behind with one game in hand.

Sportsclubstats says it’s basically a 30% chance that the Caps make the playoffs. A win over the Kings back home on Tuesday will be tough, but it would be a big deal for a team hoping to make their 7th straight playoff appearance. That same night, the Leafs will face the Blues, another one of the best teams in the league.

Stay tuned.

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  • Rob W.

    That 3 seed is still in reach but that would be one tough matchup with Philly

  • Jack Conness

    I hate scoarboard watching. I always think we should just focus on winning the games we play. BUT we gotta now. It’s tight. Too tight. Luckily, we have good ol’ Randy Carlyle and the Maple Leafs trying to open up another wild card spot. They almost always try to find a way to choke. I hope they do it again this year.

  • Since *we* aren’t playing any games personally, I think it’s okay to watch the rest of the conference.

  • Jack Conness

    I know, I know. I’m sorry. I sometimes feel like a player…

  • OlietheGoalie

    Wait, so are we or are we not rooting for the Caps to make the playoffs? I’m confused, because look people, we know how this’ll end.

  • VeggieTart

    Considering before this trip the Caps chances were less than 10 percent, that’s one hell of an improvement.

  • Jack Conness

    True. I’m torn. I hate losing. Also can’t stand GMGM and Oates. We win? Much better chance they stay. They lose? Much better chance they are gone. And realistically, how far could the Caps go in the playoffs anyway? But man, it is fun watching them win.

  • Not everyone is on the same page about that– even at this blog. I personally think it’s always better to make the playoffs than not unless you’re overtly blowing the team up.

  • Yo8

    A part of me wants us in the playoffs but another doesn’t. I feel like another upcoming year for Oates if we go to playoffs.

  • Lawrence

    You never know what could happen tbh, stranger things have happened. Does that mean this team doesn’t need to improve in both roster and management? No, but it doesn’t mean they should intentionally tank either.

  • bskillet

    We can catch Philly & NY. if we can keep it up but I agree, if we miss it all will we get a new GM? and with a new GM do we get a new coach? Even though they pulled off a good week San Jose was very lucky breaks and with each game it looked like the simple fundamentals of hockey weren’t there. Simple mistakes and lack of focus were very evident That said I just can’t bring myself to wish for them to lose. Go Caps, lets grab that 2nd spot in the Metro.

  • yv

    The opponents for two WC teams are already set, Bs and Pens. After beating the Kings (Caps should avenge SO loss), it would be an interesting match-up with Boston, as the last battle of two teams who potentially will meet in the first round of playoffs. Considering Caps success in Boston, Caps looks like the only team among other WC contenders to challenge and beat Bs. The other possible match-up Caps vs Pens would be also quite intriguing.

  • Skyler Gilbert

    You’re more optimistic than me about… well… pretty much everything.

  • yv

    Caps have propelled Flyers twice this season and they now practically unreachable. Rangers still within reach but Caps need two extra wins than them in remaining 10 games.

  • Patrick Neimeyer

    So after all those hours of heart-wrenching, pain inducing, shot taking in sorrow after a loss while be redeemed. Are you saying we have a chance! I’m all in if this is the case.

  • Patrick Neimeyer

    Whoops posted twice…

  • William

    This is great news-Toronto is on a 5 game losing stream and we have a game in hand on them.

  • RESmith

    “You never know what could happen tbh, stranger things have happened.” Heh. Remember what happened the last time there was a Godzilla movie released in May ( Serendipity is isn’t anything to go by but it is the only tiny, irrational sliver of hope that I have left. I don’t see the Caps doing much even if they make the playoffs.

  • Matt Lauer

    I’m with you. Basically, it seems that teams go exactly as far as their best three offensive players and their goalie will take them. If they make it, anything goes.

  • RESmith

    You forgot to mention that Tuesday also has Detroit playing Columbus. One is guaranteed a loss out of that scenario and hopefully in regulation so the Caps have a chance to get more points in hand.

  • Yeah, this is weird but I’m on Team “I Hope They Miss The Playoffs.” This has been one of the most embarrassing seasons this team has had in over a decade and going one or two rounds into the playoffs will just make fans forget what really happened this year. There really needs to be some serious self evaluation and some changes made after this season. You can’t have three guys ask for trades, give up the fourth most shots in the league, and think you’re going to be successful. The team’s possession stats have been going the other direction for five straight years.

  • Brendan Maltese

    Is it possible that Oates is some sort of sinister genius who has been playing weird line combinations all season long to get his players out of their comfort zone to learn new skills, all while giving his goalies a ton of practice making saves? Maybe he’s waiting until the last minute to unleash some sort of magical lineup that CANNOT BE STOPPED.

    Sounds unlikely and a little crazy, but wouldn’t that be awesome?

    Also, going to that party really jacked up my sleep schedule. Thanks, guys!

  • Langway’s Rod

    Wow. Hard to believe this is a Caps FAN blog from the comments here.

    Sure, I’d have liked to see the team play better this year, and maybe a new GM and/or coach would facilitate that. But the point is to WIN. And especially as we fret the aging of Ovi and Nicky, we have to take every chance to try to win – and make the most of it.

    I’m pulling hard for the Caps to make the playoffs, and who knows if a ’98 style opening in the brackets comes to pass – or if we get lightning hot and get brick walls in net. It’s POSSIBLE. It ain’t if we miss the playoffs.

    Final thought: fans root for their team to win – first, last, and always. If you’re rooting for the team to miss the playoffs, I gotta question your credentials as a fan.

    Go Caps!

  • Harjot Singh

    Assuming the caps do make it to the playoffs and play the B’s the caps are one of the few teams that have there number

  • OlieTheGoalie

    That’s a strict and quite frankly restrictive definition of a fan. A fan roots for the success of their team, but most of all they root for winning the Cup. In order for the ultimate success to occur, there have to be changes and missing the playoffs could be a catalyst.
    I am not of the above opinion though^. I think regardless of playoff entry or omission, Johansson and McPhee are out the door by summer and this team will be more successful. Adam Oates will likely have one or two more seasons to provide a deeper playoff run.

  • Shaun Phillips

    I’m in the “miss the playoffs” boat (and not just because I’m a Wings fan, would normally want both my teams in). I think the majority of problems with this team are in management and coaching. If the Caps make the playoffs, I think in Ted’s mind, it’s another year of “good enough” and there won’t be any major changes. The roster has talent and we’ve seen they have depth when healthy (holy crap 3rd line lately), but something is still just not right.

  • John M

    Haven’t you ever had a friend who has a relationship that just keeps lurching onwards when it’s ever more evident that the girl just isn’t going to work out for him? Wouldn’t you rather that friend have a “bad” stretch with the girl, dump her, and find someone with whom he can be truly happy instead of having a “good enough” stretch to never let her go? Does that make you a bad friend?

  • Bugs Fire

    I think you are misconstruing some remarks here as “rooting agains Caps”. I will never, ever, ever want Caps to lose a game (well, except maybe in some situations losing a game can give you a better playoff matchup). I sincerely wish they get 164 point in regular season (all from regulation wins) and get to the Cup in 16 straight games.

    But this does not mean I am oblivious to facts. Most importantly, that this season they perofrmed below expectations and below even the net total of their roster.

    I want Caps to win every game. But I also want them to get better as a group, so that, you know, they win games more often. And here is the crux of the problem.

    To improve, they have to acknowledge that there is someting wrong, something that needs improvement. Last summer they had a very good run at the end of the regular season. Partially fueled by easier schedule and weak division, but they were improving.

    And then the major weakness of their rookie coaching staff was exposed. Inability to adjust, lack of flexibility. They hit a tough opponent that their existing system was not really well working against. I understand it’s not always easy to predict and it’s hard to change too much on the fly, but you have to try. Lack of discipline and subpar defence did not help either.

    But what happened then was incomprehensible. Team management publicly claimed that team was undone by few bounces that went wrong way and by evil referees (well, Marc Joannette is an agent of Mordor). They refused to acknowledge systemic problems. As a result, the said problems were not addressed. As a result, we are here, ten games left and one point out of playoff spot. Second year of Adam Oates is worse than the first. Great.

    I want Caps to win every game. I want Caps to make playoffs. I want Caps to do well in playoffs and yes, I want them to win the Cup.

    But facts are there is miniscule chance they can do it this year. It’s not “rooting against”, it’s just reality. Anyone who thinks they can beat Bruins, Pens and whoever else gets in the way and then successfully take on whichever juggernaut comes out of the West is delusional. This ain’t Olympics where miracle on ice is one win. You have to beat four very good teams consistently.

    There are two scenarios. Caps make playoffs and nothing changes (because you know, just few bounces) or they don’t and maybe something changes. I sincerely hope we can have the cake and eat it too, i.e. Caps make the playoffs and right changes are made to help them improve next year.

    I want them to make the playoffs. But I also want to see Ovie hoist the Cup as a Washington Capital. And if for that to happen they need to fall first, so be it.

  • Diller M

    It comes down to the fact that we have been horrible in division. we have a 45% points percentage in division games. That is awful, and it’s spread around the division, we got swept by the Pens, but have losses to all other division teams, including horrible losses to Columbus and NYI. If we don’t sweep our remaining division games, and steal points in the tough games agains CHI, STL and LAK we are going to be packing up for Russia faster than Maldova!

  • Diller M

    I like scoreboard watching. It gives me a rooting stake in games I otherwise wouldnt be as invested in.

  • Shaun Phillips


  • Langway’s Rod

    I get it… and I understand the frustrations. I also note that the three guys who responded to this – were not among those posting (at least on this thread) that the Caps should miss the playoffs. But plenty of people (including Ian – which hurts a bit) are.

    And, who knows? Maybe it would be better in the long run for the Caps to miss, for GM and coaching changes to follow (no guarantee they would), and for the replacements to be better than the status quo (which is a really open question). Bit I’ll trade those maybes for the guarantee of a playoff spot – and a shot at the cup this year. Stranger things have happened (okay, not many)…

    This was also a more fitting question around the trade deadline – as it equated to “should Caps be buyers or sellers,” but it’s NOT in the final 10 games of the season.

    But for those people, including Ian, who are in the down camp (Ian quote: “I’m on Team ‘I Hope They Miss The Playoffs,'”) gimmie a break.

    And finally, to John’s metaphor about the friend in a bad relationship – I get it. It’s a valid point. But.. if that relationship is between the team and it’s management – let me extend the metaphor one more level. To me, this is more like a marriage – and the players (especially our top-tier talent) and the fans are the kids. Maybe a break-up would be better. But think of the kids. And let’s all work to try and salvage it for them (and for us).

  • Myan

    I want this team to make the playoffs for purely selfish reasons…I want to go to a playoff game this year. That’s the only reason I want us to make the playoffs…because playoff games are fun. I’m not delusional…this team is NOT going to win the Stanley Cup this year and truth be told, I don’t think this team will win a cup with Oates & GMGM in charge. There needs to be a change in the management and something tells me that change isn’t going to come as long as GMGM can boast that we’ve been in the playoffs for 7 consecutive years. This team has some fundamental problems that need to be address this summer if we hope to make a push for the cup in the next few years and short term success only masks that need for change.

  • RESmith

    FLYERS LOSE!! and hopefully took a little gas out of LA for tomorrow night.

    Unfortunatley, Phoenix couldn’t seal the deal with the Rags tonight, though…