Can the Capitals truly make the NHL Playoffs in 2022?

The Washington Capitals season is just around the corner. If you’ve been reading Stars and Sticks, you’ve seen our month by month breakdowns of the schedule. At the end of the breakdowns is a prediction of how they’ll do.

Based on those predictions it looks like the Caps could very well make the playoffs once again. But I often get criticized for being too optimistic about the Caps. So from a realistic standpoint, can they or can they not make the Stanley Cup playoffs?

Okay when I did the math I got 54-23-5. That’s first place in the Metropolitan Division and here come the fans yelling at me for being overly optimistic.

When I was doing the month by month outlook on the schedule though there’s two factors you have to keep in mind. The first is that it’s way too early for me to be predicting anything. The second was I was scared my predictions would result in the Caps missing the playoffs.

So with that being said where can the Caps realistically finish? I think they could nab at least third place in the Metropolitan Division. A lot of teams have improved but if the Caps can get third or even second, they’ll be in good shape. Winning the division would obviously be the best case scenario but I don’t think the Caps are good enough to necessarily win the Metro.

But I do think the Caps are good enough to qualify for the 2023 Stanley Cup playoffs where they’ll look to end their first round jinx. It’ll be easier said than done, as we have learned the last four years. But they could do it if the pressure is off them and I think it’s slightly off them this season like it was in 2017-18.

We all know how that season ended and another season under the radar can be a good thing for the Capitals.

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