3 reasons the Washington Capitals will shock the NHL and make quick work of the Rangers

The Washington Capitals may have barely made it into the postseason, but they may have drawn the ideal opponent in the New York Rangers.
Washington Capitals v Philadelphia Flyers
Washington Capitals v Philadelphia Flyers / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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The Washington Capitals could fare as the “happy to be here” team in the 2024 NHL Playoffs, but that also may not be the case, considering their opponent, the New York Rangers. Ironically, might I add, as the Rangers ended the year with 114 points and their fourth Presidents Trophy. 

If you conduct some quick research, winning the Presidents’ Trophy hasn’t been a prerequisite for success in recent seasons. The Rangers are the only team in the previous decade to have simultaneously finished with the highest points total in the regular season and made a deep playoff run, which occurred in 2014-15.

That alone should suggest it’s no guarantee that teams who pace the league in points will get far in the playoffs, and the 2022-23 Boston Bruins further drove that point home. But playing the “cursed” Presidents’ Trophy winners isn’t exactly why the Capitals could make quick work out of the Rangers, as it goes far beyond that. 

Washington Capitals could match up well against New York despite odds

For a while, we didn’t know if Washington was even interested in making a playoff appearance, thanks to the fact they traded Anthony Mantha and Joel Edmundson at the trade deadline, both of whom were a pair of key players. They also moved Evgeny Kuznetsov to the Carolina Hurricanes. But he wasn’t as relevant this season, appearing in just 43 games and logging 17 points. 

Despite the ‘selling’ at the deadline, the Caps continued to win games, and they earned enough points to edge out other hopefuls like the Detroit Red Wings and the Philadelphia Flyers to earn that second and final wild card spot. 

Overall, it’s easy for critics and experts to count out the Capitals, but there are a few reasons the Caps may not just beat the Rangers but also make quick work of them. Let’s talk about those three reasons in the following slides and make the case for why Washington will pull off a major upset.