Aug 28, 2013, 5:34 PM EDT
Death, taxes and Washington dominating the Southeast Division.
While that wasn’t exactly a household mantra over the last six years, it did ring true. Washington captured five of the last six Southeast Division banners and, in doing so, was a perennial top-three seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs (the Caps finished third, second, first, first and third in years they won the division.)
Last season, Washington’s dominance of the Southeast was more valuable than ever. The strike-shortened season eliminated inter-conference play, meaning 18 of Washington’s 48 games came against the Lightning, Hurricanes, Panthers and Jets — none of whom made the playoffs.
In those 18 games, the Caps went 15-3-0. The only more successful team in-division was Chicago, who went 16-1-1 against the Central en route to winning the Stanley Cup.
“It’s been our saving grace this year,” goalie Braden Holtby told the Washington Post. “It’s been lucky that we’ve got to play those teams so much, but at the same time, we’ve done a good job with them and we haven’t taken a lot of those games lightly because we know how important they are.”
Heading into 2013-14, that saving grace is gone.
The Caps now find themselves in the new Metropolitan Division, an eight-team circuit featuring just one other ex-Southeast member (Carolina) and a host of new rivals: Columbus, New Jersey, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
It’s a dramatically different landscape. The Penguins, Rangers and Isles were all playoff teams from a year ago; Columbus fell just short in its push for a postseason berth; the Devils knocked off the Flyers en route to the 2012 Stanley Cup Final.
So, safe to say the Caps won’t be dining out on divisional opponents anymore.
“It’s a tougher division, much tougher,” defenseman Karl Alzner told the Washington Post. “It’s going to be probably a pretty good battle, and the nice thing about our division now is we’ve had the luxury of not having to be the best all the time and still get into a good position in the playoffs.
“That’s the way it works.”
Oct 25, 2014, 12:50 AM EDT
“I can see, thank God, I can see,” he reportedly said.
Oct 25, 2014, 12:50 AM EDT
She reportedly hasn’t spoken to police since being released from the hospital.
Oct 25, 2014, 12:30 AM EDT
It was the game-winner, too.
Oct 25, 2014, 12:00 AM EDT
Semyon Varlamov’s first win of 2014-15 and Colorado’s first home victory.
Oct 24, 2014, 11:30 PM EDT
Actually, Taylor Hall probably deserves the most credit for Edmonton’s highlight goal.
Oct 24, 2014, 11:12 PM EDT
Somehow the latter fight didn’t leave a crater in the ice.
Oct 24, 2014, 10:44 PM EDT
The Dallas Stars get the extra point.
Oct 24, 2014, 10:29 PM EDT
Injuries continue to … strike Tampa Bay.
Oct 24, 2014, 10:13 PM EDT
Update: Vladislav Namestnikov was credited with the last goal.
Oct 24, 2014, 9:59 PM EDT
On the bright side, Michael Grabner may resume skating soon.
Oct 24, 2014, 9:19 PM EDT
Unfortunately, Tampa Bay might face another injury in J.T. Brown.
Oct 24, 2014, 8:13 PM EDT
They send their 2014 first-rounder to the OHL.
Oct 24, 2014, 7:45 PM EDT
San Jose’s enjoyed such center depth before.
Oct 24, 2014, 6:32 PM EDT
Tough times lately for St. Louis.
Oct 24, 2014, 5:47 PM EDT
Highly-touted rearguard on his way to the bigs.
Oct 24, 2014, 5:30 PM EDT
Hey, maybe the NHL should try 3-on-3 overtime.
Oct 24, 2014, 4:34 PM EDT
Speaking from experience.
Oct 24, 2014, 3:55 PM EDT
Returns to the Cardiff team he played for during the lockout.
Oct 24, 2014, 3:32 PM EDT
All the news and notes from the blue paint…
Oct 24, 2014, 2:37 PM EDT
“Anytime you go personal with family…to me, that’s very disrespectful to the player and our profession.”
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