Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
That was a good breather and an entertaining All Star game, wasn’t it? Now it’s time for the Capitals to get back to work. On Monday afternoon the Capitals reconvened at Kettler and got ready for the remaining season with the goal of bringing a Stanley Cup home to Washington this June. Tonight, they’ll begin second-half play with a road contest against the Islanders. Check out our game preview here.
But of course, before the playoffs begin, the Caps need to get there first and right now things are looking up. The Capitals sit on top of the league with a record of 33-10-6 and 72 points, good for first in the league. Last season, the Capitals finished with the best record in the league and won the President’s Trophy. They are on pace to do the same thing this year.
Now let’s break down the remaining schedule, month-by-month.
Total Games Left: 33
Remainder of January: 1 game
After the Capitals practice on Monday they will head to Brooklyn for a road date with the Islanders on the final day of the month. This is a game the Capitals cannot take lightly, as the season series is split even at two games apiece.
February: 12 games
The Capitals open up the month of February with a home date against the Bruins. After a quick trip north to take on the Canadiens, the Caps will begin the longest home stand of the second half of the season with a Super Bowl Sunday matinee with the Kings. The home stand wraps up with a matchup against the Ducks before the Capitals have a bye week. The bye week will run from Feb. 12-17. The Caps resume play the next day in Detroit. That will be a first of two back-to-back road dates. The second will be against the Rangers and the road trip will conclude with a Wednesday night matchup against the Flyers in Philadelphia. The Caps will return home for a matchup with the Oilers before going back on the road to end the month in Nashville and Manhattan.
March: 15 games
The Capitals open the month of March with three home games before departing for the west coast. Devils and Flyers will be key metro games while the three-game home stand concludes against a Stars team hungry for revenge after the Caps came back and beat them nine days ago. Over on the western road trip will include tough match ups with the Sharks, Kings and Ducks. When they return they’ll host the Wild and Predators, go on the road to Tampa, then return to DC for three more home games. The month ends with a three game road trip where they’ll head to Minnesota, Colorado and Arizona.
April: 5 games
The Caps open the final month of the season with a big game in Columbus that could decide who wins the division should these teams still be neck and neck. Another game that could be the decider is a Wednesday night home game where they’ll host the Rangers. The regular season ends on April 9 when the Capitals host the Panthers.
Games vs. Opponents with Winning Record (.500 or better): 30
Games vs. Opponents with Losing Record (below .500): 3
Biggest home stand: 4 games (Feb.5-11)
Biggest road trip: 5 games (March 28-April 4)
Toughest match-ups (teams in the playoff picture as either top 3 in division and in the two wild card spots in each conference as of 1/27): 19
Should be an exciting second half. Buckle up Caps fans!
By Michael Marzzacco