Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
According to NHL.com, the Washington Capitals have the third-most favorable schedule to close out the regular season as their remaining opponents have an average points percentage of .542. Only the Colorado Avalanche (.527) and Boston Bruins (.537) have more favorable schedules.
17 of the Capitals’ final 33 games are at Capital One Arena.
While their remaining schedule may be more favorable than other teams’, that doesn’t mean that it is easy. They have to face teams like the Pittsburgh Penguins, who are fourth in the NHL with 67 points despite a slew of injuries to key players this season, four times; their potential first-round foe in the Philadelphia Flyers twice; the defending Stanley Cup Champion St. Louis Blues; and the Colorado Avalanche, the second-best team in the Western Conference.
However, returning from the All-Star Break with a league-leading 71 points, the Capitals are definitely in a very good position to head into the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs strong if they keep their foot on the gas and don’t take anybody for granted the rest of the way.
The Capitals have two games remaining each against the worst team in the league in the Detroit Red Wings and 28th-place Ottawa Senators. In addition, they have a game left against the Los Angeles Kings, the worst team in the Western Conference, and New Jersey Devils, the worst team in the Metropolitan Division.
The Penguins and the New York Islanders, who are currently third in the Metropolitan Division, are tied for 13th in the most favorable schedule rankings (.557 average remaining opponent’s points percentage). The Carolina Hurricanes, who the Capitals would face in the first round of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs if the regular season ended on Monday, have the second-hardest schedule with their remaining opponents having an average points percentage of .574. Only the Red Wings (.591) have a harder schedule than the Hurricanes. The Columbus Blue Jackets (.566) have the eighth-hardest schedule while the Philadelphia Flyers (.57) are only one spot ahead of them.
To see the full strength of schedule rankings, click here.
By Harrison Brown