The Washington Capitals are set to play a back-to-back against the New York Islanders in Brooklyn, then travel back to D.C. to play the Avalanche the next day. These are two teams that shouldn’t be taken lightly. With the Caps going on a little win streak and landing the 2nd spot in the Eastern Conference, we could expect to see slight complacency from the red shirts.
New York has always been a bitter matchup with Washington for a while. John Tavares always seeks competition with Alex Ovechkin, while Cal Clutterbuck and Johnny Boychuk always seek to ‘trigger’ Tom Wilson so that they can go to the advantage. Former Caps veteran Jason Chimera has made a name for himself in Brooklyn and will surely try to prove himself still a valuable weapon, especially against his former team. The boys just need to keep playing how they’ve been playing, put goals up, and play strong to finish out the home stand. As long as the Caps throw everything to the net, New York’s netminders Jaroslav Halak and Thomas Greiss haven’t been exactly the model goaltenders and could let sink their own ship early.
Immediately after that, they will travel to Denver to take on the youthful Colorado Avalanche. The Caps last matchup with the Avs wasn’t a pleasant one as they were blown out 6-2 with Philipp Grubauer in net. This will be a self-proving game for the boys. The Avs are a very fast team with players like Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen. Their captain, Gabriel Landeskog, has also stepped up this season. He posted his first career hat trick against the Caps earlier on in the year. He will look again to put up points on the boys in red. Guys like Wilson and Devante Smith-Pelly need to step up for this game, using their body to separate players from the puck. If the entire team tries to play ‘pretty’, they will get out ran and eventually out classed. Colorado definitely has the speed this year. If the Caps can shutdown their speed, then the Caps will win.
The Washington Capitals will play the New York Islanders in New York on Monday at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time. They will then play the Colorado Avalanche the very next day in D.C. at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time. I’ll be watching and tweeting both games. Make sure you give me a follow on Twitter (@Jurky88) for important play-by-plays, updates and experienced opinions. Thank you and go Caps go!