After earlier struggles this year, including an eight game losing streak in December, the Capitals seem to have righted the ship with an eight game winning streak. They are back in first place in the division and one point away from the top seed in the Eastern Conference. However, looks can be deceiving.
In their eight game winning streak, six games were at home against teams with a combined winning percentage of .438. If the season ended today, only two of the eight teams would be in the playoffs. In addition, only one of the games was decided by more than one goal, against the team with worst record in the league.
The scarier part is that the next six games are all on the road against tougher competition. These teams have a combined .521 percentage and four of the six are playoff teams. One of the non-playoff teams is red hot New Jersey Devils, which has won 22 of its last 27 games.
Sure, teams will have ups and downs during the season, but this is strikingly similar to last season. Around this point last season, Washington rattled off 14 wins in a row, moving into first place. Only six of the 14 were playoff teams for a record of .470 and nine of the games were at the Verizon Center. Then the Caps promptly dropped three in a row, on the road, to teams with a .500 winning percentage.
Still not scared? The team that snapped the winning streak last season and the team Washington plays tonight are the same…the Canadians, and we all know how that ended up last year.