Mar 20, 2012, 12:30 PM EDT
With the NHL playoff race getting down to the wire, we’ll be providing regular updates on each bubble team’s postseason push.
On the bubble: Washington Capitals
Where they stand: 8th in the East, two points ahead of 9th-place Buffalo
Games remaining: 9
SportsClubStats.com says: 73.1% chance of making the playoffs
Why they’ll get in:
It’s also worth noting that four of Washington’s five remaining home games are against teams that definitely won’t or probably won’t make the playoffs – Winnipeg, Minnesota, Buffalo, and Montreal. (The other is against Florida.) The Caps are 23-10-3 at the Verizon Center, one of the better home records in the NHL.
Why they won’t:
They’re not exactly the most clutch team in history. The Caps have fallen short too many times when the pressure’s on to trust them to get it done. Only yesterday Roman Hamrlik was imploring his teammates to stop “making the same mistakes over and over.” One win against a banged-up Detroit side doesn’t mean they’ve finally figured it out.
“That was probably the best period we’ve played all year. I thought after the first period, ‘That’s the Washington Capitals. That’s what we can play like.’” – forward Jason Chimera on the Caps’ first period against the Wings that ended with Washington leading 3-0.
Key game coming up:
Thursday at Philadelphia
- Leafs sign Matthias — one year, $2.3 million 3
- Report: Kopitar, Kings in ‘early stages of negotiations’ for extension 2
- Arbitration filed: Holtby, Nyquist & Stepan highlight list released by NHLPA 12
- Report: Plotnikov paid $500K to get out of KHL contract 12
- Philadelphia signs ’15 first rounder Provorov 11
- Brandon Saad brings championship experience to Blue Jackets 22
- Sharks sign Joel Ward to three-year deal 25
- Sabres lock up O’Reilly through 2022-23 74
- Locked in: Columbus signs Saad to six-year, $36M deal 28
- Oilers sign McDavid to entry-level contract 29
- Blockbuster: Kessel traded to the Penguins (131)
- Trade: Flyers send Rinaldo to Bruins for 2017 third-rounder (105)
- Trade: Jackets land Saad; Anisimov and Dano headed to Chicago (93)
- Bypassing a buyout? Kings terminate Richards’ contract for ‘material breach’ (90)
- Sabres lock up O’Reilly through 2022-23 (74)