May 20, 2013, 9:54 AM EDT
For years the Washington Capitals have played in the often poorly regarded Southeast Division. That’s about to change and there will be little debate about the quality of their competition going into the 2013-14 campaign.
They are entering a division with the rising New York Islanders, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Carolina Hurricanes on top of the Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, and New Jersey Devils.
Still, Capitals GM George McPhee argued that it won’t be any harder to make the playoffs.
“It’s always difficult,” McPhee told CSN Washington. “It’s as difficult as it can be to make the playoffs. As I said before it’s no small feat to make the playoffs in this league anymore.
“It’s a real good league and the [salary] cap levels the playing field. The real difference now in making the playoffs is managing your coaching and getting the right players. You could this year, but this is the last year you can outspend teams. Some teams were at $70 to $75 million this year. We were $60 million. Going forward it’s level.”
McPhee doesn’t see his team making any roster changes specifically designed to accommodate the change in competition.
“I remember when I first came here [in 1997] we talked about [Eric] Lindros in Philadelphia and how we’d have to get someone to match up with him because if we’d meet in the playoffs it would be an advantage for them if we didn’t have someone. Well, we never met in the playoffs for 10 years,” McPhee said. “So why bother?
“I just try to focus on our club and what we need to really be a complete team and a good team.”
The Capitals certainly looked impressive down the stretch this year and they gave the Rangers a run for their money in the first round. At the same time, they were 15-3-0 against the Southeast Division in 2013 and 12-15-3 outside of it. It’s doubtful that they will have that kind of winning percentage against their new rivals.
Oct 31, 2014, 2:30 AM EDT
Rookie Jonathan Drouin played less than 10 minutes in the win.
Oct 31, 2014, 2:00 AM EDT
Not quite a fight.
Oct 31, 2014, 1:34 AM EDT
Michel Therrien “That was a dirty hit to the head”
Oct 31, 2014, 1:01 AM EDT
Canucks conclude October with a 7-3 record.
Oct 31, 2014, 12:40 AM EDT
Picked up his 1,000th point.
Oct 31, 2014, 12:02 AM EDT
Scores twice in 5-0 win.
Oct 30, 2014, 11:26 PM EDT
Adds defensive depth.
Oct 30, 2014, 10:56 PM EDT
Allegedly endorsed a New York Islanders pay check to cover gambling debt
Oct 30, 2014, 9:55 PM EDT
End an 0-18 skid.
Oct 30, 2014, 9:40 PM EDT
The play was reviewed and was ruled a good goal.
Oct 30, 2014, 9:17 PM EDT
Collided with Alex Steen of the Blues.
Oct 30, 2014, 9:01 PM EDT
Gets a lucky bounce off Zach Parise.
Oct 30, 2014, 8:48 PM EDT
Absent from tonight’s game against the Blackhawks.
Oct 30, 2014, 8:30 PM EDT
Was slow to the bench, but remains in the game.
Oct 30, 2014, 8:00 PM EDT
Recovering from a lower body injury.
Oct 30, 2014, 7:40 PM EDT
Nice feed to Kunitz
Oct 30, 2014, 7:25 PM EDT
Two big boys land some pretty good shots.
Oct 30, 2014, 7:07 PM EDT
Abdominal injury hits the center once again.
Oct 30, 2014, 6:28 PM EDT
Adds depth as Toronto travels to Columbus.
Oct 30, 2014, 5:24 PM EDT
“I don’t know too many people who jump into the league at 19 (years old) and are playing 22 minutes a night, it just doesn’t really happen.”
- Video: Burrows catches Emelin with a late hit (Updated) 5
- Report: Thomas Vanek involved in money laundering scandal 19
- Video: Devils (finally) win a shootout 4
- Video: Lucic and Stewart drop the gloves 20
- Blues lose Backes, Oshie indefinitely to concussions 5
- Struggling Coyotes ‘not anywhere good enough,’ says GM 9
- Red Wings take over third period, blank Ovechkin in win 8
- Video: Doc Emrick’s heartfelt words about Gordie Howe 5
- Rangers’ Moore suspended five games for ‘extremely difficult’ Haula hit 18
- Ovechkin looking to avoid career-long scoring slump tonight 11
- Video: John Moore with an elbow to the head of Erik Haula (Updated) (62)
- Report: Varlamov being sued by ex-girlfriend (47)
- Kreider calls Brodin hit a ‘bang-bang play,’ doesn’t plan to dramatically change his game (45)
- No hearing scheduled for Kreider after Brodin hit (44)
- Kopitar out, Lombardi irate as Kings will play shorthanded vs. Flyers (40)