By Elaine Donnelly
Extending sexual misconduct to combat units
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
The Caps will have to go through a tougher division to make the playoffs and then to reach the East finals. They won the Southeast Division five of the past six seasons but went 8-10-2 against the Penguins, Rangers, Islanders, Devils, Flyers and Hurricanes this year.
Budding New York Islanders star John Tavares anticipated the open space he found so easily during the regular season to be whittled away by the Pittsburgh Penguins in their opening-round playoff series.
The Capitals' reputation as a team that can't get it done in the playoffs is well-established. Here's a look at how each playoff exit happened, with some help from ex-coach Bruce Boudreau.
The Chicago Blackhawks may have peaked in late January, the entire month of February or early March when they went the first 24 games of the season without a regulation or overtime loss. They made history, but the Presidents' Trophy winners don't want this to be just the year of the streak.
With one more game left that has no bearing on their seed, the Caps are left to wonder whether they'll face the Ottawa Senators, New York Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs or New York Islanders in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs when they begin next week.
Growing up playing hockey, Matt Hendricks remembered the kind of language he would hear. It wasn't always appropriate. "Words were probably thrown around a little bit too loosely," the Washington Capitals forward said.
Beating up on inferior division opponents helped put the Caps on the verge of making the playoffs, but right wing Troy Brouwer hopes this streak proves something bigger.
Braden Holtby doesn't have the heaviest workload among goaltenders around the NHL. He's not even in the top 10 in starts. But Holtby is undoubtedly the man for the Washington Capitals, having started 10 straight games. He's 7-2-1 with 2.25 goals-against average and .925 save percentage in that time.
A year after the Predators loaded up to take a shot at the Stanley Cup, being on the edge of the playoff picture wasn't enough to keep Martin Erat satisfied. He asked for a trade and got one to the Washington Capitals before Wednesday's deadline.
Missing Sunday's game at the Philadelphia Flyers was probably a necessary precaution, given that Neuvirth did not feel well even the morning after taking a shot from Alex Ovechkin that knocked his mask off.
The Caps recalled Philipp Grubauer to serve as Braden Holtby's backup Sunday night at the Philadelphia Flyers, and the training staff will keep an eye on Neuvirth.
The Washington Capitals build a two-goal lead in the kind of fashion that usually leads to two points, scoring twice on the power play in the third period. Coach Adam Oates knew his team put itself in a “great position,” but in coughing up the lead and losing 5-4 in overtime to the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday night, the Caps made their climb that much more difficult.
Pittsburgh acquired Jarome Iginla, Brenden Morrow and Douglas Murray to bolster its Stanley Cup hopes, but could adding veteran players to an established group create problems? Recent history in Washington suggests loading up at the trade deadline isn't a fool-proof plan.
Losing to the Islanders is one thing. It would be unacceptable for the Caps not to pick up points this weekend at the Buffalo Sabres and Philadelphia Flyers.
John Erskine hopes to play by the weekend. Tomas Kundratek could be close to returning. Soon the Washington Capitals could have just about a healthy blue line again, which could require some roster juggling.