Photo: NHL via Getty Images
With NHL training camps set to open next month, the excitement of starting the regular season on October 12 gets bigger. NoVa Caps examines strength of the Washington Capitals’ schedule by month of the 2022-23 season.
Please note that some teams have bumped up or down spots since our power rankings were released after more trades, free agency signings, and injury news occurred.
The analysis is based on the ranking of teams in our offseason power rankings from earlier this month. The ranking of each team can be found in the schedule graphics displayed throughout this post.
We added up all the teams’ power rankings in a given month and divided the total by the number of games for the month to determine the strength of schedule for that month. The lower the number, the more difficult the schedule for the given month.
Biggest games of month: at Toronto Maple Leafs, vs. Vancouver Canucks, vs. Los Angeles Kings, at Nashville Predators, at Carolina Hurricanes: Score: 14.5
Biggest games of month: at Detroit Red Wings, vs. Edmonton Oilers, vs. Pittsburgh Penguins, vs./at Tampa Bay Lightning, at Florida Panthers, at St. Louis Blues, vs. Colorado Avalanche, vs. Calgary Flames, at Canucks: Score: 13.21
Biggest games of month: at Flames, at Oilers, vs. Maple Leafs, vs. Red Wings, at New York Rangers: Score: 18.6
Biggest games of month: vs. Predators, at Avalanche, vs. Penguins, at Maple Leafs: Score: 20.36
Biggest games of month: vs./at Hurricanes, vs. Panthers, vs. Red Wings, vs. Rangers: Score: 14.89
Biggest games of month: at Kings, at Rangers, vs. Blues, at Penguins, at Lightning: Score: 18.43
Biggest games of month: vs. Rangers, vs. Panthers: Score: 17.33
- October: 14.5
- November: 13.21
- December: 18.6
- January: 20.36
- February: 14.89
- March: 18.43
- April: 17.33
According to the method, the easiest month appears to be January, when the Capitals have a home-and-home with the Philadelphia Flyers, play the Columbus Blue Jackets three times, and visit the Arizona Coyotes. Though, they also face the Colorado Avalanche, Nashville Predators, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Toronto Maple Leafs.
November looks to be the hardest on the Capitals’ schedule as teams like the Avalanche, Edmonton Oilers, Tampa Bay Lightning (twice), St. Louis Blues, and Calgary Flames on the slate for that month.
The schedule will get easier from the start of it in November but harder in December and January. It could ease in February before rising in the final couple months of the regular season.
What this tells us is that the Capitals’ schedule is well balanced with a mix of elite, mediocre, and below sufficient teams spread out throughout. Of course, some teams could disappoint or exceed expectations and the outlook of a few can change if more moves are made before the puck drops but we will not know until the NHL gets knee-deep into the regular season. That is why they play the games. 49 more days, hockey fans!
By Harrison Brown