Here we go.
The Washington Capitals win tonight at the Verizon Center and they are Southeast Division Champions and playoff bound. Lose and they go for it again on Thursday.
No need to pay attention to other games’ results or wish for a particular series of event. It’s not necessary.
Going into tonight’s game verse the Winnipeg Jets (51 points), the Capitals (52 points) are showing maturity with their not-so-new anymore system, and their level of play is the highest it’s been all season.
Passes are connecting all over the ice, Alex Ovechkin is back to leading the league in scoring (30 goals), and goalie Braden Holtby has found his game following the team’s slow 2-8-1 start to the season.
“We started off as bad as a team can start,” Capitals’ Matt Hendricks told the Washington Post. “To be where we are now it’s great. We have the team the organization thought we had.”
And what the Capitals have is 25-18-2 record going into this evening’s game, with an added advantage over Winnipeg. After tonight, the Capitals have two games left in the season– Thursday verse Ottawa and Saturday verse Boston- both at home. Winnipeg has just one game left, at home verse Montreal.
The Capitals have gone 10-1-1 in the last 11 games to earn the lead spot in the Southeast Division, with Ovechkin well in site of the prestigious Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy (league scoring title) and even in discussion for the league MVP.
Ovechkin has already won the coveted Rocket Trophy twice, back-to-back in fact, during the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons. He’s one of four players to ever win the trophy twice, with the chance to become the first and only to win it three times.
But don’t count out Winnipeg. After a five game losing streak, they have won six of seven and are a point behind Ottawa and the Rangers for that final playoff spot. (Sound familiar Washington?) And while the Capitals are 3-1 verse Winnipeg this season, the Capitals’ sole loss came at home, all the wins were on the road.
“It’s their season and it’s our season,” Capitals’ Jack Hillen told the team’s official website. “It’s a playoff game. I expect the building to be rocking, the fans to be rocking. I think it’s going to be one of those games that you relish as a player, one of those fun games.”
So, whether you’re heading to tonight’s game at the Verizon Center (7PM) or to cheer the Capitals on from the bar, do what the man says. Rock the Red!