Breaking down ESPN predictions for Washington Capitals vs New York Rangers

ESPN picks the Rangers in 6
Tom Wilson, Washington Capitals
Tom Wilson, Washington Capitals / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

The Washington Capitals are being picked to lose by many. Good. We like underdog stories and we know from watching this team night after night they can put up a good fight against the Blueshirts.

But what are the experts at ESPN saying exactly who get the nod for the first game this Sunday afternoon. Let's breakdown the playoff preview written by Ryan S. Clark and Kristen Shilton of

The article begins talking about the Capitals never quit and never say die or give up mentality which has helped get them to the big dance. Yeah they have the league's worst goal differential at -37 but thanks to the play of Alex Ovechkin and the goaltending of Charlie Lindgren with a supporting cast of Dylan Strome and several youngsters here we are.

And Spencer Carbery, the youngest coach in the NHL, deserves all the credit in the world for guiding this team. He took an old team, sprinkled in some youth, tapped into the potential of many players up and down the lineup and put the Caps back where they belong: competing for a Stanley Cup.

They also note in the Caps biggest strengths that the Caps have the potential to "take the playoff field by storm".

When it came to their flaws of course it talked about offense. Being ranked 28th in total offense isn't good and that also includes 29th in five on five goals. Their leading point getter in Strome had 67 points which was big for him. He helped carry the Caps both early in the season and through adversity.

In the players to watch category ESPN mentions Alex Ovechkin who as noted before got hot after the all star break to help the Caps bad offense not be worse. And now he's 41 away from Wayne Gretzky having a chance to break the record as early as next season.

Their bold prediction: "Washington gives a rousing first round effort to unseat the Presidents Trophy winners and advance to an unexpected second round showing that ends with a Game 6 defeat."

I actually don't hate this prediction that much. I expected them to say Rangers win but not in six. Like some Rangers fans on social media think this will be an easy sweep but think again. These teams matchup well on paper and if Charlie Lindgren is hot between the pipes you can be talking another early exit for a Presidents Trophy winning team. Hey we know what it's like, right?