As the season marches on, the Capitals are facing tough competition inside the Metropolitan Division. The Flyers are surging in the standings, but the rest of the Metropolitan Division is not performing well right now.
Entering Sunday evening, the Flyers are one point behind the Capitals in the standings. The Penguins are four points behind the Capitals in the standings. The Flyers have won six in a row, and the Penguins have lost six in a row.
THE STANDINGS WILL SHIFT THIS WEEK
The Flyers seem to have the Capitals number in recent matchups. On February 8, the Capitals were thumped at home as they lost to the Flyers 7-2. The Capitals will host the Flyers on Wednesday night, and they will hope to seek revenge and extend their standings lead.
On Thursday, the Capitals will travel up to New York and will face a Rangers team that is still very much in the playoff mix. The Rangers have 74 points, and are only four points out of a wildcard spot.
To conclude the week, the Capitals will head to Pittsburgh on Saturday to face the Penguins. Like the Capitals, the Penguins are trying to turn their losing ways around.
IT IS TIME TO GET GOING
The Capitals are still trying to string wins together and gain some momentum. The Capitals must find ways to clean up their defensive game, and they must get their powerplay going very soon.
The NHL Trade Deadline has come and gone, and the Capitals are stuck with what they have the rest of the way. Players must find ways to refocus and eliminate the outside distractions. If the Capitals can regain their focus and composure, the wins will certainly follow.
FIGHT FOR HOME ICE
While the Capitals have not had the most success on home ice this season, home ice advantage is nice to have for a postseason matchup.
Nothing beats playing in front of home fans for players. The Capitals have some of the best playoff crowds among NHL clubs. The Capitals play in a loud wild environment, and it can pose a challenge to teams that are not used to playing in front of similar crowds.
In the past, the Capitals have fed off the energy of their fans. The Capitals need to find a way to re-energize their home fans. If they can string some home wins late in the season, it should give them momentum heading in to the postseason.
By: George Foussekis