Here’s what’s facing the Washington Capitals as they hit the road for a four-game trip:
Tonight, they’re in San Jose to play a capable Sharks team that’s lost two straight at home, and can’t be feeling too happy about it.
Saturday, they’re in Los Angeles to play a desperate Kings side that, struggles aside, has managed to go 16-6-6 at Staples Center.
Sunday, they’re in Anaheim to play the Pacific Division-leading Ducks in a game that starts just 22 hours after the Kings game starts.
Tuesday, they finish the trip in Pittsburgh, where the Penguins will be looking to avenge the two shutouts they’ve suffered to the Caps already this season.
Now, sure, you could look at it with a tad more optimism from a Capitals perspective. Like, the Sharks have been terribly inconsistent at home, the Kings have struggled because they’re not as good as they were last season, the Ducks are winless in three and not as good as their record indicates anyway, and the Penguins have been shut out twice by the Caps because the Caps play well against the Pens.
Regardless, Caps defenseman Matt Niskanen is calling it a “big” trip.
“We don’t want to stall out here,” he said, per CSN Washington. “We’ve been kind of up and down for the last little while and it would nice to get some steady play.
“We’re going into some tough buildings and playing some tough games on this trip, so it won’t be an easy one. I think they have our attention because if we’re not sharp those teams can blow us out of the water.”
Tonight’s game against the Sharks can be seen on NBCSN.