So, how about those Washington Capitals?
After that dreadful 1-6 start to the condensed regular season, the Capitals are now closing in on the Southeast Division-leading Winnipeg Jets, thanks to a 5-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday.
The Capitals had just 19 shots on the Hurricanes’ goal, but scored five times, including three times in the second period to take over the lead and control.
Leading the Capitals against the Hurricanes and Washington’s late-season surge: Alex Ovechkin.
Since March 17, Ovechkin has 10 goals over a nine-game span and has 15 points. And the Capitals have gone 6-3-1 in the last 10 games.
With the win, Washington got past the Hurricanes and into 10th in the Eastern Conference. The Winnipeg Jets, leaders of the Southeast Division, are only two points ahead of Washington, and the Capitals have two games in hand.
The Jets are staggering around right now, with three wins in their last 10 games.
There may be reason for optimism in Washington, but are the Capitals’ playoff chances and hopes realistic? The Capitals are 10-3-0 against other teams in the Southeast. The Capitals have 12 games remaining in their schedule, and five of those are against teams in the Southeast.
The Capitals are 4-5-0 against teams in the Northeast Division, and six of their remaining games are against teams in that division.