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The Washington Capitals’ probable first round foes

Too early to look to the post-season? Nah.

Of the teams who could wind up in the dreaded #8 spot in the east, which team would we most like our Caps to play? I, for one, would like the Flyers based on the fact that I could actually go to a game or two, pending a blessing from the wife. That doesn’t really hold any statistical weight though. So here are our notes, you make the call.

Make the jump, and riddle me this.

Ranguhs

33-32-10, 76 points. Currently in 10th place.

  • In the season’s 4 games series the Caps went 3-1 with the only loss being on Verizon Center ice
  • Caps outscored the Rangers 15-11, while being out shot 114 F – 117 A
  • Theodore was in the net for two victories, Varlamov was credited with the other
  • PP went 7-26 (26%), PK 11-17 (64%)
  • Backstrom is strong against the Rangers, some of the other big guns not so much.
  • All games have been decided in regulation

Wes’ odds of winning a 7 game series: Pretty good, but will be a very close set of games filled with bad blood of last season’s series. Possible 5 or 6 game series.

Thrashers (the ones who don’t sell kick ass french fries in Ocean City, Maryland)

33-30-12, 78 points. Currently in 9th place.

  • Caps are 4-0 with 2 games remaining. 3 wins in Hot-lanta, 1 at home, all in regulation.
  • Caps have out scored the Thrashers 22-10, despite being out shout 121 F – 151 A.
  • Varly and Neuvi are credited with 2 wins apiece. Neuvi has seen the greater share of shots (17+)
  • PP is 3-20 (15%), PK is 13-16 (81%).
  • Ovi, Semin and Grandpa Knuble all have a trio of goals in 4 games.

Wes’ odds of winning a 7 game series: It’s the Southeast Division where the Caps rule the roost. A 4 game sweep is likely, but if the Thrashers are lucky could go 5.

B-Ruins

34-28-12, 80 points. Currently in 8th place.

  • 2-0 on the season, 2 games remaining – which could be helpful to see competition close to postseason
  • Caps have score 4 times as many goals, 8-2, but have been almost even in shots 60F-62A.
  • Both wins have been at TD Bankcenter Ice and with the Caps Verizon Center record you can bank on picking up both contests at home
  • PP: 2-8 (25%), PK: 10-11 (91%)
  • Theoboasts an amazing .963 Sv% in his two W’s.
  • Bruins are last in league with 2.42 G/G
  • Laich puts the ruin in Bruins with 3g, 1a in 2 games.

Wes’ odds of winning a 7 game series: Just hand it over now. With Savard out, Caps could make this a short (but sweet) 4 game sweep.

Habs (not)

37-31-8, 82 points, Currently in 7th place.

  • 4 games, split the series 2-2 including a shoot out win and an OT lose. Split games 1-1 home and split 1-1 away.
  • Varly and Neuvi are credited with a win each
  • Caps are tied with the Habs with 14 goals apiece (hence the OTs), put outshoot the Canadians 134 F-111 A
  • PP went 3-17 (17%), PK was 9-14 (.64%).

Wes’ odds of winning a 7 game series:Medium, the Habs play us tough and travel might be more of a concern. This one could be a full blown 7 games with a few OT’s in the mix.

Flyers (the F is for Fail)

38-32-6, 82 points. Currently in 6th place.

  • In the season’s 4 games series the Caps went 3-1 with the only loss in OT at the Wachovia Center
  • Caps have outscored Philly 22-13, but have been out shot 124 F – 153 A.
  • PP went 7-16 (43%), PK was 13-20 (65% ouch)
  • Play Theo – He was in net for all 3 Caps wins
  • Ovi owns Philly with 5 goals in the 4 meetings. Semin and Flash have also faired well

Wes’ odds of winning a 7 game series: Pretty good, considering home ice advantage and their recent goaltender woes. 5 games with a loss in hostile territory.


After reviewing all the information outlined above, and consulting my dog Jake, here is is whom I’d  feel most comfortable facing come April:

  1. Thrashers
  2. Bruins
  3. Flyers
  4. Rangers
  5. Habs

But my thoughts are like defenders in Alex Ovechkin’s way- they simply don’t matter. So let us know who you’d think the best (and worst) possible matchups for the Capitals are in our comments section and in the nifty new poll along the right side of the main page!

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