On Tuesday night, the Washington Capitals clinched the Metropolitan Division crown and top spot in East. Does that mean they’re satisfied with the way they’ve played of late? Absolutely not.
Despite registering their 108th and 109th points of the season earlier this week, Caps goaltender Braden Holtby knows his team has to turn things around if they want to make a long postseason run.
“I think we’re all kind of sick of the way we’ve played at times over the past couple months, and you can tell it’s starting to turn,” Holtby said, per CSN Mid-Atlantic. “Everyone’s realizing you have to hit that bottom and tonight you could kind of tell this is where we turn it around now.”
29 other teams in the NHL would probably kill to hit “bottom” like Holtby described in the above quote. The Capitals’ play has certainly dipped in the last few weeks, but it was to be expected after they built up such a comfortable lead atop the division and conference standings. The fact that they have such a high standard for themselves might bode well for them. Washington is 7-3-1 in the month of March. Not bad for a team going through a tough stretch.
The Capitals have 10 games remaining and although their upcoming wins and losses will have no bearing on their position in the standings, they want to go into the playoffs on a high note.
“We’re not in a playoff push, but with 10 games left it’s a blessing in disguise that we can get ramped up because we have something to play for and we have to make sure we’re getting our top level going into the playoffs,” he said. “It’s a luxury we have 10 games to do it and it’s our job to use them effectively. That’s our goal as a collective group.”
There’s one more thing they can accomplish before the end of 2015-16. Holtby is four wins away from tying Martin Brodeur’s record of 48 victories in a season.