The Washington Capitals are officially in the clubhouse turn and heading for home with just 23 games remaining in their 2020-21 regular season. You know what that means. Yep, goodbye low blood pressure. Make sure your high blood pressure medications are refilled and ready to go, as the playoffs are right around the corner.
But before we get to the heart palpitations, the Capitals first need to lock down their ticket to the postseason. So let’s take a look at how the Capitals have done within the East Division so far this season, and take a look at the final 23 games ahead for the Capitals.
RECORD AGAINST EAST DIVISION TEAMS
The Capitals have completed 33 games of their 56-game regular season schedule and currently sit atop the East Division standings with a 22-7-4 record. Here is a breakdown of how they’ve done against each team in the division:
They Capitals have winning records against all East Division teams with the exception of the Rangers and the Bruins, and there is still time to change that, as they will have four more games against each of those teams in the final 23 games.
But how are the Capitals doing against the top teams in the East Division?
EAST DIVISION BREAKDOWN
If we take the top four teams in the East Division and compile the Capitals record against those teams, we can see that the Capitals still have a fairly impressive record of 10-4-3 in 17 games played against those teams. They have a winning record against all teams except the Bruins at .500.
Capitals Record Against Top-5 Teams
We could expand to include the top five teams and see that the Capitals record drops a tad when we include the Rangers, but the overall winning percentage is still fairly impressive. The Capitals have amassed a record of 11-7-3 against the top five teams in the East Division.
Capitals Record Against Top-4 Teams With Rangers
The Rangers are heating up while the Philadelphia Flyers are cooling off, as the Rangers sit just two points behind the Flyers in the standings. One could see the Rangers climbing above the Flyers in the near future. So, in a worst-case scenario, we could drop the the Flyers and add the Rangers, to attain a more realistic look at the Capitals record against the top teams in the East Division.
By replacing the Flyers with the Rangers the Capitals record drops much closer to .500, but still have a winning percentage.
THE ROAD AHEAD
The Capitals have been hot in March, but that needs to be tempered just a bit, as they have played the Devils (3), Flyers (3) , Sabres (1) and Rangers (2) in nine of their 12 games this month. Still, the team took care of business and won the games they should have won.
However, the road ahead will be a little more challenging for the Capitals. Here are the remaining games for each team. (Click to enlarge).
The Capitals have the 4th easiest schedule ahead. That’s the good news. The bad news, The Bruins (.510), Penguins (.512) and Rangers (.556) have much easier schedules down the stretch.
The Capitals face the Islanders five more times, with four of those games on the Island. The Capitals face the Bruins, Flyers and Rangers four more times, each.
The Capitals will wrap-up the month of March with a pair of games against the Rangers, beginning on Sunday. After that they begin their biggest challenge of the hockey schedule in the month of April with 16 games in 30 days. Here’s a glance at the month:
The Capitals will play every other day and have two back-to-back sets that will require travel in between games. They will have just one two-day break near the end of the month. All-in-all, an extremely busy month against better than average teams. A lot will be decided in April.
The best news of all for Capitals fans is that there will be plenty of Capitals action in the next six weeks. So buckle up. Here we go.
By Jon Sorensen