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 Caps will play with nothing to lose in this series

Some may scoff at this point, but in a series as lopsided as this one is on paper, you will have one team play to their strengths and only to their strengths. The Rangers know what works for them, and so do the Capitals. While the Caps have their own set of strengths, we need to remember that this team was minus-37 this season and rarely looked like a playoff-caliber group, and they will go into Round 1 knowing that. 

While reckless abandon is a key trait in playoff hockey, a team like the Caps should and will take things a step further. Expect them to throw the unexpected and take a few more risks than the Rangers, and that could catch the Blueshirts off-guard. 

There is hardly much difference here between a team looking to play spoiler against a legitimate playoff contender, where the former will hit harder, take more chances with the puck, and throw something new and unfamiliar at their opponents. In this series and perhaps in the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs, nobody has more of an advantage than the Capitals in this regard.

The only question is whether they can keep things fresh for an entire four-to-seven-game series. If the answer is ‘yes,’ look for the Caps to catch New York off-guard with several unexpected strategies, and if the Blueshirts can’t adjust, they will be in trouble. 


(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference)