Capitals Near Top In Hardest Schedule For Playoff Push

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You know when you play the Presidents’ Trophy leaders three times in the final 11 games of the season that you have to be in the top for the hardest schedule around the playoff push, right? Well, that’s the case for the Washington Capitals, who have the third toughest schedule remaining in the entire NHL, only behind the league’s worst team in the Ottawa Senators and the Minnesota Wild, a bubble team in the West.

The Capitals’ opponents the rest of the way have an average points percentage of .593, though that’s inflated since the Tampa Bay Lightning have a points percentage of .785 and the next best points percentage is .695 (owned by the Calgary Flames). If you exclude Tampa Bay from the list, the average winning percentage from the Capitals’ opponents is .574, though that would still be the eighth-worst schedule remaining in the NHL. A big reason for why it’s one of the worst is because 10 of their final 18 games are on the road.

Luckily for the Capitals, their Metropolitan Division rivals don’t have the easiest schedule either. The division-leading New York Islanders have the 17th hardest schedule with their opponent’s average points-percentage being .584. The Pittsburgh Penguins have the 14th hardest schedule with their opponent’s average points-percentage being .554. The Columbus Blue Jackets have the eighth hardest schedule with their opponent’s average points-percentage being .571.

The Flames, who lead the Western Conference with 89 points this season, have the easiest schedule with their opponent’s average points-percentage being only .517. The Senators’ opponent’s average points-percentage is .599.

The hardest team’s the Capitals will face down the stretch include the Lightning, Winnipeg Jets, Islanders, and Penguins. Though their schedule is tough, they still have to face the Philadelphia Flyers, who have the 17th best points percentage in the NHL (.531), three times in March.

The lowest points-percentage a Capitals’ opponent has this season is the New Jersey Devils (27th: .453). They will play them twice in the next month.

The rankings based on who has the toughest schedule can be found below: (Via NHL.com)

Calgary Flames: 18 games left; 11 home, 7 road; Opp. Pts. %: 0.514
St. Louis Blues: 19 games left; 9 home, 10 road; Opp. Pts. %: 0.521
Colorado Avalanche: 18 games left; 10 home, 8 road; Opp. Pts. %: 0.529
Arizona Coyotes: 18 games left; 10 home, 8 road; Opp. Pts. %: 0.531
San Jose Sharks: 18 games left; 12 home, 6 road; Opp. Pts. %: 0.532
Buffalo Sabres: 19 games left; 10 home, 9 road; Opp. Pts. %: 0.535
Vancouver Canucks: 17 games left; 11 home, 6 road; Opp. Pts. %: 0.538
Edmonton Oilers: 18 games left; 10 home, 8 road; Opp. Pts. %: 0.538
Dallas Stars: 18 games left; 10 home, 8 road; Opp. Pts. %: 0.538
New York Rangers: 19 games left; 8 home, 11 road; Opp. Pts. %: 0.541
Vegas Golden Knights: 17 games left; 8 home, 9 road; Opp. Pts. %: 0.543
Los Angeles Kings: 18 games left; 11 home, 7 road; Opp. Pts. %: 0.546
Anaheim Ducks: 18 games left; 11 home, 7 road; Opp. Pts. %: 0.547
Florida Panthers: 19 games left; 9 home, 10 road; Opp. Pts. %: 0.548
New York Islanders: 19 games left; 10 home, 9 road; Opp. Pts. %: 0.548
Chicago Blackhawks: 18 games left; 8 home, 10 road; Opp. Pts. %: 0.549
Nashville Predators: 16 games left; 7 home, 9 road; Opp. Pts. %: 0.552
Pittsburgh Penguins: 19 games left; 10 home, 9 road; Opp. Pts. %: 0.554
Toronto Maple Leafs: 18 games left; 8 home, 10 road; Opp. Pts. %: 0.558
New Jersey Devils: 18 games left; 8 home, 10 road; Opp. Pts. %: 0.559
Tampa Bay Lightning: 17 games left; 8 home, 9 road; Opp. Pts. %: 0.560
Boston Bruins: 18 games left; 8 home, 10 road; Opp. Pts. %: 0.562
Montréal Canadiens: 18 games left; 8 home, 10 road; Opp. Pts. %: 0.569
Columbus Blue Jackets: 19 games left; 8 home, 11 road; Opp. Pts. %: 0.571
Philadelphia Flyers: 18 games left; 8 home, 10 road; Opp. Pts. %: 0.576
Winnipeg Jets: 19 games left; 8 home, 11 road; Opp. Pts. %: 0.582
Carolina Hurricanes: 19 games left; 10 home, 9 road; Opp. Pts. %: 0.585
Detroit Red Wings: 18 games left; 7 home, 11 road; Opp. Pts. %: 0.585
Washington Capitals: 18 games left; 8 home, 10 road; Opp. Pts. %: 0.593
Minnesota Wild: 18 games left; 9 home, 9 road; Opp. Pts. %: 0.598
Ottawa Senators: 18 games left; 8 home, 10 road; Opp. Pts. %: 0.599

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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2 Responses to Capitals Near Top In Hardest Schedule For Playoff Push

  1. Day One Caps Fan says:

    No excuses! A team as is good as its record indicates. The Caps are either a One Hit Wonder or something better. We’ll know soon

    Like

  2. Pingback: What A Rush! Capitals Line Rush Of The Game: Another Day, Another Milestone For No. 8 | NoVa Caps

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