Today the Caps sit atop of the Southeast Division leading the second place Carolina Hurricanes by 6 points. They firmly part of the "second tier" of the NHL, by my accounts. The first tier being those teams that now have 40 or more points and are averaging 1.5 or more points per game: San Jose (46 points/27 games - 1.70 ppg), Detroit (42 points/27 games - 1.56 ppg), and Boston (42 points/28 games - 1.5 ppg). The second tier being those teams that are averaging 1.20 or more points per game: New York Rangers (40 points/31 games - 1.29 ppg), Montreal (37 points/28 games - 1.32 ppg), Vancouver (35 points/29 games - 1.21 ppg), Anaheim (35 points/29 games - 1.21 ppg), Washington (35 points/29 games - 1.21 ppg), Philadelphia (34 points/27 games - 1.26 ppg), Chicago (33 points/26 games - 1.27 ppg), and New Jersey (32 points/25 games - 1.28 ppg).
Extrapolating the Caps season to a logical conclusion based on the current average ppg puts them at 99 - 100 points. Given the Caps injury situation and relatively grueling schedule in November, that forecast is likely a conservative estimate. Per Tarik and Corey it is possible that two more important Caps may return to the roster tomorrow night - Sergei Federov and Mike Green. As more of the Caps opening night roster returns to the line-up, and the travel schedule and number of back-back nights lessens, the Caps should start to improve their road record and continue to maintain their solid home ice record. Overall, it is possible to see the Caps to a solid 100+ point season and a second consecutive Southeast Division championship though there are still 53 more games to be played "on the ice" by the Capitals before that happens. However, 28 of those 53 games will be at the Verizon Center where so far this season the Capitals have an 11-1-1 record; while only 25 of the games will be on the road where the Caps have a 5-9-2 record. The Caps also only play 7 of their remaining 53 games against Western Conference teams who the Caps have a 5-6-0 record against so far this season; while 46 of those games are against Eastern Conference teams who the Caps have a record of 11-4-3 so far this season.
Bottom line, is it's still a fun year to be a Caps fan.
Next up the Ottawa Senators at the Verizon Center tomorrow evening at 7PM.
LETS GO CAPS!!!!!!!!!!!