Raise your hand if you had Winnipeg and Arizona undefeated through the first week. How about if you had Columbus, Pittsburgh and Los Angeles winless.
The NHL season is off to a surprising start for many teams, but how much of that is just an easy schedule, early season jitters or just knocking off the rust? It's important when watching the early results to bear in mind that this all remains a work in progress.
That was very much the mood in the Capitals locker room after their opening win over New Jersey on Saturday. The Capitals found themselves locked into a 2-2 tie in the third period after some sloppy play. They walked away with the win thanks to the late-game heroics of Alex Ovechkin, but it was not the type of effort the team was hoping for. Just ask Barry Trotz.
But Saturday's effort was not indicative of how good the team is. Anyone who was watching could see they were capable of better. That leaves us asking the same question we were asking before the season even began: just how good are they?
Are the Coyotes for real? Is Pittsburgh really that bad? Are the Rangers really the best team in the NHL? Find out here in this week's NHL Power Rankings.
The Caps looked to be in real trouble after blowing leads and losing in overtime in both Game 1 and Game 2.
After two straight wins, however, Washington is in control against the Columbus Blue Jackets as the series returns to Washington, D.C. for Game 5.
On the latest eipisode of the Capitals Faceoff Podcast, JJ Regan and Tarik El-Bashir talk about what changed for the Capitals between Game 2 and 3, as well as resetting their series predictions.
And as always, they answer several viewer questions.
Check out their latest episode in the player below or listen on the Capitals Faceoff Podcast page.
Andre Burakovsky will be sidelined for the remainder of Washington's first-round series vs. Columbus, but he isn’t necessarily out for the remainder of the playoffs, Coach Barry Trotz said on Friday.
Burakovsky suffered an undisclosed upper-body injury in the Capitals' Game 2 overtime loss and has not been on the ice since.
Trotz said the 23-year-old top-six winger needs “minor” surgery.
That procedure, however, will not preclude Burakovsky from returning to the Caps’ lineup in subsequent rounds, should Washington advance.
“That's why I said minor surgery,” Trotz added, asked if Burky might return at a later date.
This latest surgery is the second for Burakovsky this season. In late October, he had a procedure to repair a broken left thumb and missed the next 20 games.
Since his departure in Game 2, Jakub Vrana and Chandler Stephenson have taken turns replacing Burakovsky on the second line with Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie.