Capitals Officially Eliminated From 2023 Postseason


The odds the Washington Capitals would remain mathematically alive for the 2023 postseason come Wednesday morning were not ideal. The Capitals would be eliminated from playoff contention if the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the New Jersey Devils OR the Florida Panthers beat the Buffalo Sabres Tuesday night.

The Penguins lost to the Devils, 5-1, but the Panthers beat the Buffalo Sabres, 2-1 Tuesday night, officially bringing the curtain down on the Capitals chances for the 2023 postseason.

The elimination from the NHL’s postseason is the first time for the Capitals since the 2013-2014 season and only the second time since the 2006-2007 season. It ends a streak of eight consecutive postseason appearances, which included five division titles, two Presidents’ Trophies and a Stanley Cup in 2018.

The Capitals have five more games remaining before their season concludes on April 13th, at home against the New Jersey Devils.

”April is the cruelest month” – T.S. Eliot

By Jon Sorensen

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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18 Responses to Capitals Officially Eliminated From 2023 Postseason

  1. Anonymous says:

    We knew it was coming, but still not easy to swallow. We’ve been spoiled

  2. Anonymous says:

    “And with the first pick in the 2023 NHL entry draft, the Washington Capitals select forward, Connor Bedard” 🤞🤞🤞

  3. Anonymous says:

    Welp.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Let the purge begin

  5. John Kevin Kuntz says:

    Let the purge begin

  6. GRin430 says:

    Again, I strongly believe they should put every veteran member of this team that has any sort of booboo on IR and play kids from Hershey for the last 5 games, then send the kids down to try to win a Calder Cup. 5 games isn’t much of a trial for the kids, but it’s better than nothing.

    The only point of the remaining games is to get a few more goals for Ovechkin and figure out anything/everything they can about the guys they have in the system. Hershey has already clinched a bye in the first round of the playoffs… they could play random Hershey Park guests and/or employees and it won’t make a significant difference.

    So GMBM, bring up every kid you can, tell Lavi to play them or you’ll find somebody else to coach the last few games.

    • KimRB says:

      Agree. Who cares about winning the games, tanking is better for the long term future. Get a better draft choice, and a read on some kids. But I’ll wager PL wants a better looking line on his resume, so he can write that he won 36 games or so, rather than 34. The vets will play.

    • Anonymous says:

      It would have to be LTIR because at the moment I don’t think they have the salary cap space to bring anyone up. So unless someone actually breaks a leg, that’s not happening.

  7. Lance says:

    Pretty rough year all around. We did have an amazing 20 game stretch in there. But yeah, the Caps’ stars all got old at the same time. We need to draft the next batch of stars.

  8. Prevent Defense says:

    Sprong and Schultz are having outstanding seasons in Seattle

    Schultz departure from DC was a salary-cap thing, I think justified
    Daniel Sprong had “potential scoring talent” which he’s showing with SEA. Sprong’s departure was a “Laviolette” thing. Sprong wasn’t doing this and wasn’t doing that adn wasn’t a “200 foot” player. Out he went.

    The gent who runs “Stars and Sticks” in the Caps internet world vented about Thanksgiving of 2021: Coach Lavi doesn’t “coach the right way.” Sure looks that way in 2023.

    Schultz is +2 with 25 assists with SEA this season. Then there’s 21 goals, 23 assists, +22 on the season – that’s Daniel Sprong. Averages 11 minutes per night. That’s good booze. I think of Daniel every time I see Mo #39 botch-up another play, make another gruesome turnover, “it dies on his stick,” wasting another day’s worth of $5.9 million per season.

    Better luck next year

    • KimRB says:

      “Sprong’s departure was a “Laviolette” thing.”

      How does that explain why Sprong flamed out in Pittsburgh and Anaheim, as well as Washington?

      You seem awful quick to blame the Caps for “ruining” a prospect, but forgetting that other organizations let the kid go too. Who knows why these kids flop in one place, and are solid contributors, in another? Coaching, the city, wife or girlfriend (Pronger’s wife hated Edmonton, leading them to trade him to Anaheim), teammates, or maybe it’s just the wrong time in the kid’s development ….lots of potential reasons why. It happens to every team.

      My guess is Sprong has one good year, and goes back to what he was. Schadenfreude maybe, but whatever.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Schultz wasn’t a cap casualty. He is worse defensively than Carlson, who is bad, and his offense cratered last season. The team needed to get younger and faster, and he was the most logical piece to move, especially given that he was a UFA. Best let him walk and give AA the chance, which has worked out well.

    Granted, no one foresaw Carlson’s freak injury, so losing Schultz happened to hurt, but it was otherwise a great move.

  10. Prevent Defense says:

    With four games to go, PIT stands outside the Wild Card race (86 pts), by a single point. They play MIN, DET, CHI and CBJ. Ahead of PIT is FLA (red hot), and NYI. Each has 87 pts.

    With a little help from the Hockey Gods, PIT can be eliminated, validating the early-season prediction within NovaCapsFans that PIT is on the decline.

    There’s a great little dive bar in Mt. Savage, MD called “The Steel Pony”, just about halfway between downtown DC and downtown Pittsburgh. Would be a great place for Ovechkin and Crosby to meet up in two weeks for a six-pack to lament the disastrous 22-23 season. ESPN could film the event, and the Caps’ blogosphere could comment on it

  11. KimRB says:

    Tank update:

    The Capitals remain in 9th place in the draft lottery. They have now clinched a chance to move up a maximum of ten spots. The team will finish from 7th to 16th, probably in the 8th to 12th range. 11th or lower is a chance at #1 overall. There are two lotteries, the winner of the first gets first overall, unless that team is in 12th to 16th, then the team that finished last “wins”, and stays in first. Then there’s another for 2nd overall, or the chance for a second team to move up ten spots.

  12. Prevent Defense says:

    Gulitti has article today in NHL.com: “Capitals eliminated, hampered by injuries to Backstrom, others. Had made playoffs for 8 straight seasons; moves before Trade Deadline provide optimism for 2023-24”

    I’d like to hear the NovaCapsFans Staff “take” on the Gulitti’s analysis. Thanks

    • Diane Doyle says:

      I’m sure there will be an article shortly. (I’ll have to read that article more closely.)

  13. Anonymous says:

    Flush! Ready for 2023-24!

  14. Caps fan says:

    We are fans of Caps. This year bad luck. Caps has to improve a lot. Need fast transition and prompt defense. Attacking techniques need to be improved. Best Luck for future.

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