The Caps schedule down the stretch is extremely favorable. Some numbers for you:
- Only 8 of their remaining 20 games will be played against current playoff teams: @BUF, @CHI, PIT, CGY, OTT, BOS, @PIT, BOS.
- 12 games will be played at the Verizon Center (23-3-3).
- 8 games will be played on the road (18-10-5).
- The combined record of the Caps opponents is 573-480-170, a win percentage of .538. For comparison's sake, the current easiest strength of schedule is .547. Who holds this distinction? None other than the Caps, clearly victims of never having to play themselves.
Assuming the Southeast Division is wrapped up in only a few weeks (the magic number is currently 15 points and will only decrease once play resumes), the Caps will look to clinch home ice throughout the entire playoffs. The final 20-game schedule is very, very exploitable.
I guess three questions remain before we begin the final trek; these will hopefully be addressed later in the week:
1) How will a monumental Olympic collapse affect Alex Ovechkin's game down the stretch?
2) Will the goaltender "situation" sort itself out any time soon?
3) What the HELL is George McPhee gonna do come March 3, trade deadline time???