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East update: Caps stay alive as Detroit, Columbus also win

Apr 8, 2014, 11:15 PM EDT

The Washington Capitals need to win out and enjoy a staggering array of breaks to make the playoffs, but they at least did their part on Tuesday, handling the St. Louis Blues to a tune of a 4-1 win.

It was the kind of victory that left many Capitals fans and writers wondering, “Where has this team been all this time?”

… And left St. Louis fans booing a team that is now on its first three-game losing streak of the season:

Oh yeah, if that’s not enough for Blues fans, it appears that David Backes might have a foot injury. Updates were scarce on Tuesday, so that might be something we learn more about it later on.

Circling back to the Capitals’ desperate playoff run, the good news is that they won; the bad news is that the teams ahead of them also almost uniformly improved their leads (most notably the wild card teams). The Detroit Red Wings handled the Buffalo Sabres while the Columbus Blue Jackets managed a spirited overtime win against the even-more-desperate Phoenix Coyotes. Washington basically needs to win out and have at least one of these teams more or less collapse to make it to the playoffs.

See for yourself:


There are now only four teams who can mathematically end up with the two final East spots: Detroit, Columbus, Washington and the New Jersey Devils (who are hanging on by even less of a thread).

The Capitals can top out at 91 standings points, 39 wins and 29 regulation/overtime wins. Want an idea of how likely that may be? Here are the four teams’ closing schedules:

Detroit: Wednesday – at Pittsburgh, Friday – vs. Carolina and Sunday – at St. Louis
Columbus: Wednesday – at Dallas, Friday – at Tampa Bay, Saturday – at Florida
Washington: Thursday – at Carolina, Friday – vs. Chicago, Sunday – vs. Tampa Bay
New Jersey: Thursday – at Ottawa, Friday – vs. NY Islanders, Sunday – vs. Boston

Could Washington finish ahead of at least two of those teams when it’s all over? It’s not impossible, it’s just improbable. They at least kept that door open on Tuesday night, though.

Related: Flyers clinch spot; Maple Leafs, Senators and Hurricanes bow out

  1. capspats - Apr 8, 2014 at 11:20 PM

    That first tweet sums it up perfectly

  2. bilbono - Apr 8, 2014 at 11:22 PM

    What are fans booing for? 3 game losing streak is nothing compared to other teams, especially when they’ve already clinched a playoff spot.

    • c9castine - Apr 9, 2014 at 1:15 PM

      its called expectations.

      it sometimes creates lunacy in fans.

  3. dwoklives - Apr 8, 2014 at 11:35 PM

    They’re booing how they played, which was poorly, and the fact that this was the third spanking in a row. Not ideal to go into the playoffs not playing your best hockey.

  4. billiam55 - Apr 8, 2014 at 11:57 PM

    wat a bad time to start slumping blues. as for the caps, they aint making the playoffs.

  5. blomfeld - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:05 AM

    Breaking News …


    It’s now being reported tonight that the Vancouver Canucks will announce the hiring of Bob Nicholson and Trevor Linden tomorrow morning (1030 hours PST) as their new club GM and President respectively. Both parties (currently in town) have been maintaining complete ‘radio silence’ this evening as per directed by Aquilini Investments. Further updates to follow shortly.

    Source: Blomfeld & Wo Fat Intelligence & Entertainment Systems LLC

  6. slysipops - Apr 9, 2014 at 1:09 AM

    i see HITCHCOCK had some of his high scoring ( ? ) neanderthals out late in the game…… hoping to stop the boos with some action …maybe?

  7. 13datsyuk13 - Apr 9, 2014 at 2:04 AM

    Go Wings!

  8. flyboystransport - Apr 9, 2014 at 9:30 AM

    I hear Pittsburgh fans complaining about injuries but Detroit has done great with them. Would hate to play the wings in the playoffs

  9. cliffatola - Apr 9, 2014 at 10:18 AM

    I watched the Blues v Hawks game on NBC this past weekend, for as good as the Blues have been all season. I didn’t think they looked that great against the Hawks, kind of flat and if they continue that type of play it will be a short playoffs for them.

  10. c9castine - Apr 9, 2014 at 1:20 PM

    lets be honest the teams that are making the playoffs are already there. nobody else is getting in.

    and i think the pecking order is set too…there is a small chance though that columbus grabs the bottom division spot as opposed to a wild card considering they have a weaker schedule.

    detroit and philly both play pittsburgh. (could or could not be a bad thing for them lol). detroit then plays st. louis and carolina. carolina can be sneaky.

    columbus plays florida, tampa. they are trucking right now so i can see them taking all of those or atleast 2 of 3.

    philly plays tampa carolina, and have cooled off a bit. no doubt they are taking a breather after that regular season run (subconciously) it took a lot for them to come back from the abyss.

    well see! for what its worth i actually believe columbus would present the biggest problem for the bruins.

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