Sports Illustrated Was Right About the Caps Winning the Stanley Cup

Posted June 8, 2018

Photo via The Stanley Cup!

Back in October, Sports Illustrated picked the Capitals to win the 2018 Stanley Cup. It was a curious move, considering the Capitals suffered an ‘all-in’ hangover by losing various pieces, such as Karl Alzner, Nate Schmidt, Marcus Johansson, Justin Williams, Daniel Winnick, and even Kevin Shattenkirk, while only adding some rookies and league-minimum journeymen.

The Caps did indeed regress, at least in the regular season. While they finished in first place in the Metropolitan Division, they allowed 57 more goals in 2017-18 and went from a +81 goal differential to +20.

While SI was wrong about Vegas – as was everyone – give them credit for picking Minnesota to advance to the Finals. The storyline of Bruce Boudreau facing off against his former team almost sounds just as good as George McPhee’s journey to the Stanley Cup.

Now, let’s look back at our prediction for the Caps in 2017-18:

So, taking in the complete picture and comparing it to the last two seasons, the most positive any observant fan can be is… cautiously optimistic.

If the Caps play to the best of their potential this season, they should wind up a fifth or sixth seed. That could lead to a first round win. The Caps at that point could find their groove, shock a team or two and overachieve. By overachieving, I mean… a second round win, something they haven’t done in two decades. Yes, it’s possible. It’s really, really possible.


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