Caps benefiting from poor Metro Division

Caps benefiting from poor Metro Division
October 22, 2013, 9:45 am
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Alex Ovechkin and the Caps are ready for the road

(Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)

Not sure if you noticed this, but rather than wait until March or early April, NHL.com has already begun its Wild Card standings in each of its two conferences.

For what it’s worth, the Caps [3-5-0, 6 points] are two points out of a divisional playoff spot – the top three teams in the Metro Division qualify – and four points out of a wild card spot – the two teams with the best records after the six division qualifiers.

Those standings illustrate that while everyone thought the Caps would have a more difficult time qualifying for the playoffs in the Metro Division than in the Southeast, the opposite may be true.

Of the eight teams in the Metro, only the Penguins [7-2-0] and the Hurricanes [4-2-3] have winning records. Five of the eight teams have losing records.

Capitals coach Adam Oates says it’s way too early to start looking at the standings.

“Over time it’ll show itself,” he said. “Hey, there’s parity in hockey. We’re just trying to win games.”

A year ago the Caps got off to a 2-8-1 record and somehow managed to win a fifth Southeast title in six years. They needed to go 15-2-2 down the stretch to pull it out.

Perhaps that’s why the Caps are not stressing too much over losing five of their first eight games this season.

“I think we know what we can do,” left wing Marcus Johansson said. “We’re not there yet, but we know what we can do. We did it last year. We had a tough start last year, too, and we came back hard. That’s what we’re going to do now. We have to believe in what we’re doing.”