Feb 24, 2014, 2:00 AM EDT
If the Stanley Cup playoffs were to begin Monday, the Washington Capitals, armed with the scoring prowess of Alex Ovechkin, would not qualify.
With the NHL schedule set to resume after the Olympic break, the Capitals sit with 63 points in the Eastern Conference standings, one back of the Detroit Red Wings for the second Wild Card spot. The Capitals entered the break on a modest two-game winning streak, and winners in five of their last eight.
However, before that, they were losers of seven in a row, which dropped them below the playoff line. Finding consistency beyond just a handful of games seems to be a difficult task for this team to this point in the season. Of course, the break has brought about a new sense of optimism.
“It’s a team that hasn’t played its best hockey yet,” Capitals general manager George McPhee told the Washington Times. “I thought we were starting to play well before the [Olympic] break.
“I believe they can be a lot better. The players believe they can be a lot better. Hopefully, when we come out of the break we’ll be healthy and play the way I think we’re capable and they think they’re capable of playing.”
- Video: ‘It’s not the ideal situation,’ says OT hero Vermette of being a healthy scratch 3
- From healthy scratch to hero: Vermette scores OT winner for Blackhawks 16
- Video: Ducks score three goals in 37 seconds to take third-period lead 7
- WATCH LIVE: Ducks at Blackhawks, Western Conference Final Game 4 0
- Cooper on replacing Bishop: ‘That is asinine to me’ 23
- Vermette, Teravainen return for Blackhawks in Game 4 14
- Comeback fit for a King: Lundqvist, Rangers even series in Game 4 24
- Fetisov wants to restrict young Russians from playing in the NHL 51
- All eyes on Lundqvist 11
- Quenneville opted for ‘fresh legs’ by inserting Nordstrom, Versteeg into lineup 12
- Reports: Sabres thought they had a deal with Babcock, aren’t happy (173)
- Leafs land Babcock with reported 8-year deal, estimated at $50 million (130)
- Russia to be punished for ‘completely out of order’ actions after Worlds final loss to Canada (91)
- Report: Sabres negotiating with Babcock (82)
- What’s wrong with Lundqvist? (70)