Tuesday night was a busy one in the NHL. With thirteen games on the docket, we’ve now got a much better idea of how the standings might look after 82 games.
More importantly, we might know who the Caps’ opponent will be in the first round.
With their win over the Leafs and the Penguins’ win over Columbus, Washington needs just one point, net, to lock up the division (and Presidents’ Trophy).
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) April 4, 2017
That means their likely opponent will be the possessor of the second wild card spot in the east. Here’s what that looks like right now:
The Lightning and Islanders are almost — but not quite — eliminated, so the battle really comes down to three teams: Boston, Toronto, and Ottawa.
Note that Boston has two games left, whereas Toronto and Ottawa have three left each. Those remaining games are as follows:
The Senators will play in Boston on Thursday, which will have huge ramifications.
Boston has been an interesting team all season — great underlying play but terrible finishing and goalkeeping. I think they’re a sleeper threat. The Senators are a troubled team but they have some high-end talent in Erik Karlsson (if he’s healthy) that could make then dangerous.
Meanwhile, Toronto has a murderer’s row ahead of them: Tampa will be desperate, and Pittsburgh and Columbus are both fearsome. It’s a real possibility that Toronto might grab only a few more points, which would put them in the wild card and make them Washington’s round-one foe. That would be a fun, hyped up series.
In order of preference, I’d like to see the Caps to play Toronto, Ottawa, then Boston. In order of likelihood, I think it’s the same.
— NHL (@NHL) April 5, 2017
Who do you want to see?
Headline photo: Graig Abel
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.