Screen cap: @Capitals
The Washington Capitals are set to begin their first round series against the Florida Panthers in the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs on Tuesday, and while many have the Caps in for a tough task against the President’s Trophy-winning Panthers, for captain Alex Ovechkin and his club, their confidence is unwavering.
“We’ve been there [referring to winning the President’s Trophy]. It’s going to be totally different games than the regular season. They’re a very solid group of guys. Best team in the regular season, but in playoffs it’s going to be different. It’s going to be different mindset, it’s going to be different speed, it’s going to be different battle level”.
The Capitals (who have won the President’s Trophy with the league’s best regular season record) are entering the postseason as the second wildcard team in the Eastern Conference, and finished the regular season with the best road record (25-10-6), something to keep in mind when visiting Florida on Tuesday.
“We just have to play simple. I think all the teams going to play basically the same game. We just have to play the same way on the road like we play in the regular season, but how I said, everything’s changing, it’s totally different game, so I think we all excited, we all can’t wait on Game 1, and we’ll see”.
Ovechkin sat out the final three games of the regular season after exiting the Capitals’ game against the Toronto Maple Leafs on April 24 with an upper-body injury after crashing into the end-boards shoulder-first following a trip by Toronto goaltender Erik Kallgren that went uncalled by officials.
“Good. We’ll see [describing how he feels and his status for Game 1]. No it was the two minutes. Obviously we knew we make playoffs and just decided to take a rest [indicating he could have played at some point during the last few regular season games]”.
The Capitals and Panthers square off at 7:30 PM EST on May 3, 2022. The game can be viewed on NBC Sports Washington or ESPN2.
— x – Washington Capitals (@Capitals) May 1, 2022
By Michael Fleetwood