Washington Capitals are Officially in the Playoffs again
The Washington Capitals have officially punched their ticket into the Stanley Cup playoffs! They currently have a record of 46-24-7 and no they won’t win the President’s Trophy like a current trend over the past few years, but since they won’t win that award does that mean it’s the Caps year finally?
I most certainly hope so, but they are on path to win the Metropolitan Division for another year in a row. If the season ended today they would be playing the Columbus Blue Jackets, or the New Jersey Devils.
The Blue Jackets currently have 91 points, and the Devils currently have 89 points with each team at 77 games for the year. Either way with the current NHL playoff format this could be the year the Caps won’t have to play the Penguins in the second round with the current record of the Boston Bruins and the Tampa Bay Lighting.
With that said could this actually be the Caps year? The Penguins have had success with super stars on the top two lines with a younger group on the bottom lines with a few veterans just like how Washington has set up this year. The Capitals currently have four rookies on the roster, and have had more rookies with call ups over the year leading them to have played the most rookies this season with nine.
A lot of questions are being asked going into the postseason. For starters who will be the starting goalie? Grubauer has been on fire recently, and has had only one start ever in the playoffs; while Braden Holtby started the year off great and made his third all-star game appearance, but has been cold recently while Grubauer has stepped up.
Grubauer was scratched last game and is back since Phoenix Copley was called back down to Hershey. Holtby played great last game stopping 37-39 shots against the New York Rangers and looked like his old self, so who will be number one goalie for game one of the playoffs? Since the Capitals are already in being a former goalie I think the Capitals should take a youth hockey approach and split the games between the two to see who plays better during the last week and half in the season left.
Next question is who plays on the third line? Jakub Vrana has played that line all year and was a scratch last game for the new comer from University of North Dakota Shane Gersich who looked great. Gersich showed a lot of speed and grit with coach Trotz saying in his post game interview last nigh, “Gersich was one of the best players on the ice tonight,” So who becomes a scratch and who plays?
Even though the next few games mean nothing but playoff seeding, but I think the Capitals will use these games to test lines to see what will work best for the playoffs. With that said I’m just ready to rock the red and pray that this will finally be the year.
According to popular podcast Spittin Chiclets current podcaster and former Pittsburgh Penguin Ryan Whitney of the show said in their last episode it won’t be the Capitals year, but Ovechkin and Backstrom deserve a cup, but will do it on different teams. All I got to say to you Whits is I hope this year will prove you wrong let’s go Caps!!