Washington Capitals Schedule: Week Six Outlook


Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Capitals look to build on their franchise-record 10-3-0 start as they play three games and face another series of back-to-back games.

The Washington Capitals face a huge week for several reasons. First of all, the Caps are looking to add another winning week to their 2015 season. They have finished above .500 in every week so far this season. They currently have a 10-3-0 start and they’re looking to build on that as they pursue their first ever Stanley Cup. 

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The second reason that the Caps face a huge week? This is likely the week that captain Alex Ovechkin will top his former teammate and childhood hero Sergei Fedorov in career goals scored by a Russian. The two Russians are currently tied in goals scored with 483 career goals. With his next goal, Ovechkin will pass the Russian legend and confirm that he is the best player to ever come from the country of Russia. It’s going to be an extremely special and emotional moment for the Washington Capitals captain when he passes Fedorov.

The Capitals open their week on Tuesday when they visit the Detroit Red Wings. It’s going to be weird to see the Caps play against defenseman Mike Green after Green spent the first ten seasons of his career with the team. The Red Wings are off to a bit of a slow start with a 7-6-1 record. They are also one of the worst possession teams in the NHL with a 46.1% even-strength Corsi For percentage after losing head coach Mike Babcock to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Part of that is because they haven’t had center Pavel Datsyuk, but the Wings just aren’t playing the kind of hockey that they used to play under Babcock. 

Ovechkin will be playing with a fire under his posterior that is even hotter than it usually is against Detroit. Fedorov will be at the game in Detroit. Ovechkin is not the kind of player who ever needs more motivation, but imagine how incredible it would be for Ovi if he broke Fedorov’s record with Fedorov in attendance. That’s the kind of thing he probably dreamed about as a kid. It’s likely that he will set the record against Detroit. Ovi tends to shine when the spotlight is at its brightest.

The Washington Capitals will face their division rival Philadelphia Flyers in the city of brotherly love on Thursday evening. This will be the first time that the Washington Capitals have faced the Flyers this season. The Flyers did remarkably well against the Capitals last season. They were the only Metropolitan Division team other than the Rangers to finish with a winning record against the Caps.

The 5-6-3 Flyers have struggled to score (just 28 goals scored in 14 games) and struggled to keep their opponents from scoring (39 goals allowed in 14 games). Jakub Voracek is off to an unusually slow start. Let’s hope that his slow start continues through Thursday’s game because he’s a pretty excellent player when he’s on his game.

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The Caps might be facing an old friend in Philly. Michal Neuvirth might be getting the start for the Flyers in goal. Neuvirth spent the first several years of his career in DC and seems to have found a home in Philly with three shutouts so far this season. The Flyers have struggled mightily at puck possession this season with an even-strength CF% of 48.4%. That ranks 23rd in the NHL.

The Washington Capitals will finish their week on Friday when they travel down I-95 to return home and face the visiting Calgary Flames. The Capitals beat the Flames 6-2 in Calgary earlier this season. The 5-9-1 Flames look to exact revenge on the Caps for the beating that they received in Calgary. The Capitals will look to finish the week strong against the Flames.

The Capitals are a much better team than the Flames in terms of puck possession. The Calgary Flames have talented forwards like Jonathan Gaudreau and Jiri Hudler, but they lack the defense necessary to suppress shots against. The Caps will be tired from Thursday’s game, but the Caps should still beat the Flames easily.

Next: Week Five Recap

PREDICTION: The Washington Capitals should honestly go 3-0-0 this week. They are fully capable of beating each of these teams by a fairly significant margin. Hockey is a funny game. The best team doesn’t always win. That said, anything less than 3-0-0 this week is going to hurt.