Hear that sound? Sounds like the death rattle of the 2015-16 regular season. The Caps have four more games until the Next Thing begins. We can talk about that Next Thing later– for now we’ve got a date with the Islanders.
Anyways, the Coyotes aren’t very good. I’ll be rooting for the Caps to light up Coyotes goalie Mike Smith, which would be good for obvious reasons but also because the dude I’m playing in my fantasy hockey championship has Smith on his team.
The Caps have a grand total of six games left in the season. Wednesday night, they were edged by a likely playoff opponent in the shootout. We’re not going to dwell on this because the Flyers are dumb and so are skillz competitions.
Tonight, the Caps play the Colorado Avalanche. The Avs are five points out of the West’s final Wild Card spot. Coincidentally, they are appallingly atrocious in the realm of puck possession. Like, worst team in the league levels of bad. No, that is not an April Fool’s joke.
This is a team clinging to the dream of a playoff position, unlike most of the Caps’ remaining opponents in the regular season. After being held to a single goal against the Flyers, tonight would be a choice night to generate some offense. But the Caps will try to do so without one of their best offensive players.
The other night the Caps got that little p next to their name on the NHL.com standings page, indicating that they’ve locked the Presidents’ Trophy. The remainder of the regular season means very little now except for setting the tone for the playoffs, and on that point the Caps are in Philadelphia today. Their match against the Flyers tonight is likely a prelude to the first round of the postseason.
So that’ll be interesting. Tune in at 8 PM on NBC Sports. I’ve got recap duty.
The Caps got stomped by the Blues on Saturday night. Defensive breakdowns (and bad shooting/saving percentages) sunk a decent effort, so the Caps will try again tonight against the Blue Jackets, who, I’m told, are a totally different team than the Blues. I’m not so sure, but I guess we’ll find out tonight at 7 PM on CSN-DC.
The Caps return home to face the Blues. Tonight’s game is the second half of a back-to-back for both teams. Last night, the Caps (and John Carlson!) trumped the Devils in OT, while the Blues clinched a playoff spot via their 4-0 drubbing of the Canucks.
Hopefully you’re well rested because last night’s game was a real snoozer. Tonight should be a different story, as the Blues look to be a force in the playoffs. They boast a strong defense and elite special teams. Plus, it’s TJ Oshie vs Troy Brouwer, assuming the former is healthy.
This evening’s foe, the Pittsburgh Penguins, played yesterday, defeating the Flyers’ 4-1. A tired Penguins team might imply good things for Sunday’s game, but Pittsburgh star Sidney Crosby played just 19:56 on Saturday– the first time he’s ducked under 20 minutes since Evgeni Malkin went out with injury a week ago.
Don’t believe the hype. The Penguins have rebounded since canning Mike Johnston, and they’ve been genuinely fearsome since the trade deadline. This will be a tough game.
Tonight, the Caps face stiffer competition in a hungry Preds team. The Preds are chilling comfortably in the West’s first Wild Card spot. Alas, a recent string of wins has them eyeing up the Blackhawks’ third-place slot in the Central Division.