The 2018-19 regular season is already a quarter in the books, and the Washington Capitals have had some early struggles. The Capitals have not caught enough breaks in the early point in the season.
There is a bit of good news for the Capitals. After the matchup in Montreal on Monday night, the Capitals will be at home the next four out of six games. This is especially good news since the Capitals have a bit of a banged-up roster.
Good health is something the Capitals do not have right now. Evgeny Kuznetsov and T.J. Oshie are both day-to-day with concussions, Brooks Orpik is still on the shelf, and Braden Holtby is going to return as a backup in Montreal.
T.J. Oshie and Evgeny Kuznetsov, both likely dealing with concussions, are not on the ice.
— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) November 19, 2018
It is easy for a club to get down when they are not healthy, but the Capitals have plenty of depth, and they were able to squeeze out a 3-2 overtime win against a tough Avalanche club.
STILL HANGING TOUGH IN THE STANDINGS
Despite a roster that is not healthy, the Capitals are just outside of the playoff race. Heading into Monday, the Capitals sit just one point behind the Rangers and Islanders, and five points behind the Blue Jackets. In the wild card race, the Capitals sit four points behind the Bruins and Canadiens.
IS IT TIME TO PANIC?
The season is still young, and while the Capitals are plenty banged up, the club should not start to worry just yet.
The Capitals schedule is very favorable in the next few weeks. After the matchup with Montreal on Monday night, the Capitals play four clubs that did not make the postseason one year ago. It is also great timing for the Capitals that their next six games will be played in the eastern time zone. The Capitals next lengthy road trip will begin on December 4, when they go back West to take on Vegas.
In addition to the Capitals favorable schedule, the Capitals should get their key players back from injury very soon. It appears that Evgeny Kuznetsov and T.J. Oshie are both not out long term, and Braden Holtby could be back as early as Wednesday night versus Chicago.
The one thing that everyone should hope for is good health. Injuries are the nature of the beast in professional sports, and it appears that good health is on the way.
By: George Foussekis