And Down The Stretch They Come!: A Look On the Remaining Schedule of the Washington Capitals


Rob Carr/Getty Photographs

Whereas it might be exhausting to consider, the pandemic-shortened 2020-21 NHL season is reaching the ultimate a number of weeks and for groups eyeing a spot within the Stanley Cup Playoffs, securing their maintain on a playoff place, or hoping to get to 1, the following month and a bit will probably be important in attaining these objectives. For the Washington Capitals, the month of April will see them play 16 video games in 29 days. On this piece, NoVa Caps analyzes the Caps’ remaining schedule of their push for the MassMutual East Division title.

MARCH

Video games Remaining: 4
Opponents: New Jersey Devils (2x), New York Rangers (2x)
Residence Video games: 3
Away Video games: 1
Mixed Report In opposition to Opponents: 5-3-0

ANALYSIS: The Capitals face the New Jersey Devils and the New York Rangers two extra instances within the month of March, with two house video games on March 25 and 26 at Capital One Area and the Rangers at house on March 28 and at Madison Sq. Backyard on March 30. In opposition to every staff, the Caps have been a story of two groups. They’re an ideal 4-0-0 towards the Devils this season, whereas they’ve received simply as soon as towards the Blueshirts whereas dropping 3 times in regulation. Goaltender Vitek Vanecek has gone 1-2-0 towards the Rangers, with a .937 Save Proportion and a 2.37 Objectives-In opposition to Common. The Capitals have scored simply six objectives towards the Rangers in comparison with 12 Objectives In opposition to, whereas they’ve fared significantly better towards the Devils, outscoring New Jersey by a 17-11 margin.


APRIL

Video games: 16
Opponents: New York Islanders (5x), Philadelphia Flyers (2x), Buffalo Sabres (2x), Boston Bruins (4x), Pittsburgh Penguins (1x)

Residence Video games: 6
Away Video games: 10
Mixed Report In opposition to Opponents: 15-4-4

ANALYSIS: The month of April will probably be a busy one for Head Coach Peter Laviolette’s staff, as they play 16 video games in a span of 29 days. Their opponents will probably be robust ones, with the New York Islanders presently atop the MassMutual East Division and the Pittsburgh Penguins not far behind both the Isles or Caps with 40 factors (to the Islanders’ 46 and the Capitals’ 44). Whereas the Bruins sit in fourth place with 36 factors, they’ve confirmed to be a troublesome opponent for the Capitals prior to now, and the Buffalo Sabres are additionally to not be taken frivolously regardless of a agency final place standing; nevertheless, the Caps’ good 5-0-0 report towards the Sabres this season tells the story of the tape. The Capitals have a mixed 15-4-4 report towards their opponents within the month of April, together with an ideal 3-0-0 report towards former Head Coach Barry Trotz’ Islanders, outscoring New York 12-6, and scoring greater than 50% on their energy play alternatives towards the Isles (55.6%). In opposition to all their opponents this season, the Capitals have struggled probably the most towards Pittsburgh and Boston in Objectives In opposition to Per Sport, giving a mean of three.50 towards each groups, whereas scoring 3.33 and a pair of.50 Objectives a recreation towards every staff, respectively. Boston has downed the Caps twice in regulation whereas the Capitals have overwhelmed the Bruins twice, and the Caps have allowed their opponents from Beantown a mean of 30 pictures on objective a recreation. Tensions may be lingering from the 2 groups’ final assembly, when Washington proper wing Tom Wilson despatched Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo out of the sport with a success that resulted in Wilson being suspended for seven video games. The 2 groups’ first assembly will probably be on April 8 in Washington. Head Coach Peter Laviolette commented on the staff’s busy schedule in Tuesday’s media teleconference:

“We’re cognizant of it. We don’t observe very a lot, I can’t converse to different groups and the way they view it and what they do. I do know we’ve a veteran staff and I do know the power during which we play the sport is actually essential. And so we’ll proceed to have a look at the schedule. We had sooner or later off written on the schedule however we gave them two. We simply felt that it will be useful typically sooner or later while you return to work is sort of a fast break however in the event you can catch a second time off in there the place you don’t have to return in and take into consideration hockey, it’s a psychological and bodily benefit to it. We’re it on a regular basis, we’re attempting to do our highest to be able to play bodily and mentally but additionally to ensure we’ve the power to play the way in which we need to play”.

The month of April will probably be a vital one for Washington and their hopes to win a division title for the sixth consecutive season in addition to sustaining the very best playoff place for 2021.


MAY

Video games: 5
Opponents: Pittsburgh Penguins (1x), New York Rangers (2x), Philadelphia Flyers (2x)
Residence Video games: 3
Away Video games: 2
Mixed Report In opposition to Opponents: 6-5-0

ANALYSIS: The ultimate 5 video games will probably be robust ones for the Caps as they give the impression of being to shut out sturdy towards the Penguins, Rangers, and Flyers. They’ve been outscored these opponents by a 47-43 margin, and have a 1-3-0 report towards the Rangers, who they face at Madison Sq. Backyard in New York on Could 3 and 5. The Capitals have misplaced their solely recreation in New York this season. The Caps even have but to attain an influence play objective towards their opponents from Broadway this season, being held off the rating sheet on every man-advantage this season. The Capitals start the month at house towards Pittsburgh on Could 1 and shut out the season on Could 7 and eight at house towards Philadelphia.

CLOSING ANALYSIS: The Capitals’ 2020-21 season to this point has been a profitable one, with a present 20-7-4 report on the time of writing. The month of April will probably be a very powerful month of the season in figuring out their end within the standings and their eventual seeding within the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Their most essential opponents would be the Islanders and Penguins, by way of divisional standings, whereas their struggles towards the Rangers and renewed rivalry with the Bruins will probably be video games to observe because the Caps look to return to the promised land of the Stanley Cup Ultimate.

By Michael Fleetwood

About Michael Fleetwood

Michael Fleetwood was born right into a household of diehard Capitals followers and has been watching video games so long as he can bear in mind. He was born the yr the Capitals went to their first Stanley Cup Ultimate, and is a diehard Caps fan, the proprietor of the very FIRST Joe Beninati jersey and since then, has met Joe himself. His favourite participant turned former Capital Nate Schmidt after he met Schmidt in a Hershey resort whereas in Hershey PA to see the Bears play, shortly after Schmidt was injured throughout a conditioning stint. Michael can also be a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Orioles, and enjoys pictures, watching WildEarth TV’s SafariLive reside safaris, and watching animals in his spare time. (Photograph by Adam Vingan in 2014 on the Capitals Improvement Camp).



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