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Capital achievement

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

If past Presidents’ precedent can be believed, there’s about a 30 percent chance the Washington Capitals will win the Stanley Cup.

The Caps have clinched their first Presidents’ Trophy in franchise history by posting more regular season points than any other team. Of the 23 previous clubs to enter the post-season with a political endorsement, seven went on to win the Cup.

The odds improve when you limit your analysis to the last 10 regular season champs, because of those squads, four (or, obviously, 40 percent) proved they had what it takes to rule the post-season, too.

Many believe Washington doesn’t have the goaltending to do that, but all it needs is more of what it’s been getting from Jose Theodore. The league MVP from 2002 has had a couple hiccups of late, but for the most part he’s provided more than adequate goaltending for a team that scores a league-leading 3.80 goals per game.

That formula worked during a successful presidential campaign and it’s almost time to find out if it jives in the playoffs, too.

RK.

TEAM

LW

OVERALL

L10

THE SCOOP

1

1

51-15-12

6-1-3

Set new franchise marks with 51st win and 23rd road victory

2

2

48-20-11

5-4-1

Entering the playoffs with an extremely healthy team

3

8

46-28-6

7-2-1

Just two regulation losses in their past 13 outings

4

5

48-27-4

5-4-1

Shane O'Brien says 'Shame on me' for forgetting how good life as a pro is

5

7

49-22-7

5-4-1

Have clinched their first division title since winning the old Norris in 1992-93

6

4

41-24-14

7-1-2

Johan Franzen has nine points over his past six contests

7

3

48-25-6

6-3-1

We're all about to find out fast how good this team actually is

8

6

45-26-7

5-3-2

Sergei Gonchar and Evgeni Malkin each post two points after returning to the lineup for Saturday's OT win over Atlanta

9

11

43-31-5

6-4-0

Captain Daniel Alfredsson will play his 1,000th NHL game on Tuesday

10

9

43-25-10

7-3-0

Looks like Tim Connolly and Thomas Vanek will both miss the rest of the regular season with lower body injuries

11

10

45-26-7

4-2-4

Ilya Kovalchuk returns to Atlanta on Tuesday as a Devil

12

12

44-27-7

4-4-2

Back in the playoffs for the first time since 2002

13

14

39-32-8

5-3-2

Back-to-back shutouts from Jaroslav Halak solidifies Montreal's hold on a playoff spot

14

13

36-30-12

6-4-0

Finished second overall with 270 goals last year, but may not even hit 200 this season

15

21

36-32-10

6-3-1

Have taken 11 of a possible 12 points in their past six games

16

17

42-29-7

3-6-1

Need to play like the team we saw in October for one more week

17

18

40-30-9

6-4-0

Probably need to run the table in their three remaining games

18

16

39-34-6

3-6-1

Huge home-and-home with the Rangers to close out the season and likely decide who gets the eighth seed

19

23

38-31-9

7-2-1

Deadline pickup Curtis McElhinney has filled in brilliantly for injured starter Jonas Hiller, but it's too little, too late for the Ducks

20

15

34-32-13

5-3-2

Got surprisingly productive seasons from both Nik Antropov and Maxim Afinogenov

21

19

38-31-9

6-4-0

This year may have been a step back, but the future still looks pretty good in St. Louis

22

20

35-30-14

5-4-1

Could Mike Modano go from player to part owner of the Stars, along with Wayne Gretzky and Brett Hull?

23

24

33-36-10

5-3-2

Brandon Sutter could become the first player since Sergei Berezin in 1999-2000 to finish the season with more than 20 goals and just two penalty minutes. The downside is if he doesn't get more penalty minutes next year he might be kicked out of his family.

24

26

33-35-10

6-3-1

Blake Comeau has two points in each of his past three contests

25

27

32-34-13

5-3-2

Antoine Vermette's strong play has been one bright spot this year

26

22

29-36-14

6-2-2

Dion Phaneuf still hasn't scored in 23 games as a Maple Leaf

27

25

37-35-7

3-6-1

Next year will be a big one for Brent Burns after two injury-ravaged campaigns

28

28

31-35-12

3-5-2

Will settle the issue of who is the state of Florida's worst team when they close the season with a home-and-home versus Tampa

29

29

31-35-12

3-7-0

Late-season nosedive means Bolts could draft as high as No. 2 overall for the third straight year

30

30

24-46-8

3-6-1

Could help Calgary with a win over Colorado on Wednesday; maybe Oilers fans want them to lose that one?

The Hockey News ranks the teams 1-30 each Monday based on a combination of last week’s play and a squad’s overall outlook.

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