Well, here we are folks. After a disastrous start, a coaching change, a sudden surge through the standings despite long-term injuries to key players, and an MVP-worthy season by franchise left-winger Alexander Ovechkin, the Washington Capitals find themselves in a position to make the playoffs for the first time since the 2002-2003 season. Not only that, but—-as the Washington Post‘s Tarik El-Bashir points out—-they could actually win the Southeast Division.
Holy fucking shit.
The Caps have six games left in the following two weeks—-all against Southeast Division opponents. Two games against the Southeast Division-leading Carolina Hurricanes (five points ahead of the Caps), two games against the Florida Panthers (who are also competing for a playoff spot and only one point behind the Caps), and two against the league-worst Tampa Bay Lightning. The first three games are away and begin with tonight’s matchup against the Hurricanes.
If the Caps kick ass, they could win the division and get into the playoffs in the third spot. If that were to happen, who knows what team they’d play in the first round: Of the seven teams competing for the last three playoffs spots in the East, only eight points separate the 12th-place Toronto Maple Leafs and the 6th place New York Rangers. In fact, the whole goddamned conference is one big ol’ clusterfuck, thanks to Gary Bettman and the three-point system in which a team that loses in overtime gets a point for, well, losing. Trying to do the math gives me a fucking headache, know what I’m saying? So the Caps shouldn’t waste any energy worrying about whether or not they might have to play Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round of the playoffs and just kick the shit out of Carolina, Florida, and Tampa.
Oh yeah, and making the playoffs is the only way Ovechkin will win the Hart Memorial Trophy for most valuable player. Because the people who choose whoever wins the award (members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association) are douchebags who think that—-even though the NHL already has a fucking award for Playoff MVP—-the award should only go to a player whose team makes the playoffs. Never mind that Ovechkin, you know, leads the league in goals. And points. And checks the shit out of everything that moves. And has almost single-handedly carried the Washington Fucking Capitals to within two points of the playoffs.
“Hey guys, check me out. I’m a member of the Professional Hockey Writers Douchelord SuperClub! What say we give the Hart to Evgeni Malkin instead of Ovechkin on the basis that I am a complete fucking tool?”