Chris, Ian, and I had a spirited conversation about the Washington Capitals during their 5-1 loss to the Devils on Saturday night. The three of us spent a lot of time bemoaning how bad the Caps were playing before we all realized that they were still the best team in the NHL. We had cycled through our worries — Braden Holtby’s apparent downturn and Nick Jensen’s disastrous results in particular — and then we collectively noticed that the Washington Capitals of January 2020 are way better than the Capitals of January 2019 — and even better still than the eventual-champion Capitals of January 2018.
If you were handed a report card for the Capitals right now, there would be A‘s and smiley faces everywhere. Whatever anguish we’re feeling is because of the sharp contrast between the team’s bright, long-term success and some far more fleeting dark spots.
In this snapshot, we look at the shade while enjoying the sunshine.