TORONTO – It’s not the banner they want – that one is 16 playoff victories away – but the Capitals have earned yet another celebrating a Southeast Division title.
The Caps clinched their fourth straight division championship Tuesday night by virtue of the Sabres’ 3-2 victory over the Lightning.
Coach Bruce Boudreau has said repeatedly that he isn’t marveling at his team’s spot atop the division, given that Washington was there on Dec. 1. Since, it’s been a roller-coaster ride with an eight-game skid and nine-game winning streak, and now the Caps can concentrate on one of the top two seeds with the division wrapped up.
“Dec. 1 we were first in the NHL. Dec. 23 we were seventh, and we lost eight in a row and people made an awful big deal out of it because we hadn’t had that happen to us before,” Boudreau said. “We turned it around and started changing the way we played a little bit and we had success with it, so we continued to do it. Now I think we’re comfortable with the way we play and just looking forward to playing every night.”
Incidentally, Buffalo’s win happened with a minute left in the Caps’ game at the Maple Leafs, and Toronto was officially eliminated with that result.