Despite a Tuesday night 3-2 overtime loss on the road to the Eastern Conference leading Boston Bruins. Barry Melrose announced on SportsCenter that the Washington Capitals are still the most talanted team from top to bottom in the Eastern Conference. Is this true?
Prior to their meeting on Tuesday, the Capitals had taken the first two games of their four game season series, each by one point. With the loss the Capitals fell to (30-15-4) and 11 points behind Boston who improved to (35-8-5). Both teams have comparable home records with only three losses in regulation, but Boston is the better traveling team with a 68% winning percentage to the Capitals 42% on the road.
But Melrose mentioned the phrase "from top to bottom", and the Capitals have great young talent, but then again so do the Bruins. In fact both teams have seven players with 10 or more goals so far this season, and the average age of those seven players for each team is a youthful 25 years.
The real difference maker between these teams is goaltending, the combination of Tim Thomas (20-5-4) and Manny Fernandez (14-3-1) have the Bruins giving up a league tying best 108 goals allowed, it also helps when the team tallies the second most goals with 171.
The Capitals on the other hand struggled early with free agent acquisition Jose Theodore (17-9-2) who opened the door for perennial back up Brent Johnson (11-6-3) to take over, but nagging injuries to Johnson has made him inefficient recently.
Whatever the case is, these teams look to be on a collision course for a playoff date in late April to truly decide the best in the Eastern Conference. Until then we can only speculate.