If you're a Capitals fan, you may be tired of hearing about how these round robin games "matter." With the other teams playing actual playoff series, it's hard to view the round robin games the same way. While there may not be as much on the line Thursday for the Caps and the Philadelphia Flyers (4 p.m., NBC Sports Washington) as there is in the qualification series, that doesn't mean Thursday's game doesn't matter. With only three round robin games, there is a lot riding on this game.
Here are the standings heading in:
Tampa Bay 4 points (2 games played)
Philadelphia 2 points (1 game played)
Washington 1 point (1 game played)
Boston 0 points (2 games played)
With that in mind, here are all the possible scenarios for the Caps in Thursday's game.
If the Caps win in regulation...
Washington will finish ahead of Boston, but can still finish in first, second or third overall. The Caps will finish in first if they beat Boston on Sunday AND Tampa Bay loses in regulation to Philadelphia on Saturday.
If the Caps win in overtime or a shootout...
The scenario is exactly the same as above. Washington will finish ahead of Boston, but can still finish in first, second or third overall. The Caps will finish in first if they beat Boston on Sunday AND Tampa Bay loses in regulation to Philadelphia on Saturday.
It doesn't matter if the win is in regulation, overtime or a shootout. Just win baby.
If the Caps lose in overtime or a shootout...
Washington could finish in second, third or fourth place, but will be out of the running for first. The Caps will earn second place if they beat Boston in the round robin finale AND Philadelphia loses in regulation to Tampa Bay on Saturday.
If the Caps lose in regulation...
The highest Washington could finish is in third place. The winner of Sunday's Boston-Washington game will determine who is in third and who is fourth.
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