Which Eastern Conference Match-Up is the Washington Capitals Biggest Threat?

TORONTO, ON - JANUARY 23: Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) battles for a puck between Toronto Maple Leafs right wing William Nylander (29) and Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Travis Dermott (23) during the second period in a game between the Washington Capitals and the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario Canada. The Toronto Maple Leafs won 6-3. (Photo by Nick Turchiaro/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JANUARY 23: Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) battles for a puck between Toronto Maple Leafs right wing William Nylander (29) and Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Travis Dermott (23) during the second period in a game between the Washington Capitals and the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario Canada. The Toronto Maple Leafs won 6-3. (Photo by Nick Turchiaro/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 13: Lars Eller #20 of the Washington Capitals skates with the puck against Ron Hainsey #2 of the Toronto Maple Leafs in the third period at Capital One Arena on October 13, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 13: Lars Eller #20 of the Washington Capitals skates with the puck against Ron Hainsey #2 of the Toronto Maple Leafs in the third period at Capital One Arena on October 13, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images) /

Toronto Maple Leafs

Talking about how match-ups can affect a teams potential run you might not have to look much farther than Toronto for proof. The last two seasons they’ve gone up against the Bruins in the first round and have lost both times. Perhaps if the Leafs face any other team in the conference maybe they are able to make a run.

Maybe a team and a match-up they could have some success against would be the Capitals? Among the teams we’ll talk about here Toronto is the only team to post a winning record vs the Caps last season going 2-1. Here’s hows the stats looked.

Record 2-1

Corsi For% – 45.66%

Scoring Chance For% – 48.76%

High Danger Corsi For% – 52.31%

Shooting% – 4.94%

Save% – 91.01%

High Danger Save% – 79.17%

Power Play% – 42.9%

Penalty Kill% – 66.7%

This is kind of backwards to how to stats vs Tampa Bay looks. Toronto controlled the play and therefore had more scoring chances but it was Washington who had more high danger chances. If not for the 87.50 high danger save percentage perhaps the Capitals end this season series on a happier note. At the very least they don’t get outscored 8-4.

Cashing in on those chances will be one thing, correcting the penalty kill will be another. Fixing that is a team and season wide issue for Washington but it’s something that has to be done to beat these great teams.

This could possibly be the toughest match-up for the Capitals. Sure, they beat the Leafs a couple of years ago in the playoffs, but that was years ago. Young players have gotten better, the team has added some talented players and even acquired a superstar. It’s not that same team as 2017 and Toronto could be a tough out for the Capitals in 2019-20.