Caps Outsider Roundtable: Caps vs. Maple Leafs Predictions

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Posted April 12, 2017

(Caps Outsider)

Ben Sumner

Nothing short of a curb-stomp to an eighth-seeded fresh-faced Toronto squad should be expected for a Washington team that is statistically superior and hungrier than ever for a championship. I’ll go even further and predict two Braden Holtby shutouts and no more than three total Maple Leaf goals in this series. The Caps have been preparing for this for a long time and they know more than anyone this is their best shot. Four swift chainsaw jabs to the leaf-crested jersey should settle this.

Caps in 4

Brad Davis

The Leafs are an extremely exciting team that could potentially give the Caps some serious trouble. Their overall speed and skill could really give players like Alzner and Orpik problems, and they have the depth to at least steal a game or two. My heart says the Caps will take this game in 5 like they should, but my gut says the Leafs could give the Caps a real scare.

Caps in 5

Max Wolpoff

By most indications, this is Washington’s series to lose. Washington has the advantage in just about every category: offense (+81 goal differential to Toronto’s +9), defense (2.16 team GAA to Toronto’s 2.85), and goaltending (Braden Holtby is healthy, Freddy Andersen is uncertain). All Toronto has to do to make this series a success is make a little noise, keep the games close, and maybe win twice. They will not do that.

Caps in 5

Brandon Alter

The Leafs can be a very dangerous team. The key to beating them will be the Caps playing a tight game, not allowing the Leafs young stars to have any space. Something to watch will be if Alzner and Orpik keep getting blown away by the speed of the Leafs, will Trotz put Nate Schmidt into the lineup. This will be a good first round series against the Caps that will hopefully be a good tune-up before a likely round 2 rematch against the Penguins.

Caps in 5

Andy Wallace

I think there will always be uneasiness going into the postseason no matter how well the team does in the regular season. Caps got lucky to face the Maple Leafs instead of the Bruins but that doesn’t make it an easy task. I would say that offensively these two teams can match up evenly but defense and goaltending is what will ultimately win the series for the Caps. The Maple Leafs caught the Caps off guard with their speed in their first meeting but since then the rest of the season has been mostly Caps. Pending Freddie Andersen pulling a Michael Neuvirth I believe that the Caps take this series quickly but stranger things have happened.

Caps in 4

Chase Pyke

Toronto’s biggest concern entering the series should be the health of goalie Frederik Andersen, who left Saturday’s playoff-clinching game against Pittsburgh after suffering an apparent head injury and missed the Maple Leafs’ regular season finale Sunday. Andersen accounted for 33 of Toronto’s 40 wins this season and is backed-up by journeyman Curtis McElhinney, who has been subpar in that role.

The Capitals will exert a lot of energy trying to stop the Maple Leafs’ offense, which is super-skilled, fast and finished the season fifth in goals per game with 3.05. But Toronto gave up 2.85 goals per game, by far the worst of any team that qualified for the playoffs. If the Capitals are up to the task defensively, which they very well should be, expect the President Trophy winners to exploit a Toronto defensive corps that, outside of veteran Roman Polak, has played a combined 26 Stanley Cup Playoff games.

Caps in 5

Philip Van der Vossen

TCB – Take Care of Business.

Caps in 4

Ben Sumner
Ben Sumner is the editor of Capitals Outsider. He also works for The Washington Post and contributes there when he gets a scoop.
Ben Sumner