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Banner night for Washington, again

April 2, 2018, 10:18 AM ET [188 Comments]
Ryan Wilson
Pittsburgh Penguins Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
It's another banner night for the Washington Capitals. Pretty soon they may run out of room on the ceiling. The Metropolitan Division is officially belongs to Barry Trotz and his team. It is the eighth divisional title of the Alexander Ovechkin era.

The prize for winning the division is... ??? I'm not really sure. This playoffs format is a bunch of feces. After checking Hockeyviz the Capitals are just as likely to play Columbus as they are Philadelphia. Playing Columbus in round one isn't what I would consider any kind of reward. Playing the Penguins (again) in round two doesn't sound like a great path either considering the recent history and players still on the Capitals.

As far as last night's game went that is easily what last year's playoff series could have looked like. Washington dominated 5v5 play and their goalie played really well. Marc-Andre Fleury's swan song combined with Braden Holtby's poor play was the only thing leveling things. Matt Murray isn't playing like that and neither was Philipp Grubauer.



Pittsburgh had some great chances that would probably go in on a different night, but that's what happened an entire series for Washington last year. The game wasn't all that close when you look at the possession numbers and the fact Washington went 0-5 on the power play. The Penguins got the result they deserved.

The good news is that it was one game and this Capitals team isn't as good as the one last year. Washington is a very average possession team while the Penguins have been trending in the right direction



Phil Kessel played last night and that was good news as well. He was dinged up the previous game and in jeopardy of missing his first game in quite a long time. They cannot afford to lose him heading into the playoffs.

Geno was very angry. He's usually at his best when that happens, but also prone to penalties. I'll take that risk reward any day.

The Penguins don't play until Thursday night and it will be against the Columbus Blue Jackets. If the Blue Jackets defeat the Red Wings tomorrow they will be tied with Pittsburgh. Home ice could definitely be on the line. Pittsburgh would only have one remaining game against Ottawa after that contest.

At the end of the day if the team gets through the next two games without any further injury and also gets Derick Brassard back they will have navigated the regular season successfully and be able to take another championship run, although this one might be the toughest one yet.

Thanks for reading!
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