4 Reasons to Believe the Washington Capitals Will Make a Playoff Run

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4 Reasons to Believe the Washington Capitals Will Make a Playoff Run
Greg Fiume/Getty Images

The Washington Capitals' 7-1 thrashing of the Florida Panthers in D.C. Thursday night served as a not-so-subtle reminder that when the Caps are on, they can play with any team in the NHL.

This win, combined with the Caps' tremendous come-from-behind win last Tuesday night against the Boston Bruins, it is easy to see that Washington is gearing up for a playoff run.

After an absolutely putrid 2-8-1 start to the season, the Caps have been red hot as of late. They are 8-4-0 over the past 12 games and are within five points of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. They also sit eight points back of the Carolina Hurricanes for the Southeast Division lead—taking the Canes being a daunting task, but not impossible.

Statistically, the Caps have improved dramatically over the past few weeks. Roughly a month ago, the Caps were averaging 2.33 goals per game, which ranked 26th in the NHL.

They are now averaging 2.96 goals per game which has them ranked 10th in the NHL.

A month ago, the Caps were yielding 3.67 goals per game, and they were ranked 27th in this department. They are now giving up 2.96 goals per game and are ranked 22nd.

A month ago, the Caps were the second-most penalized team in the NHL. They are now the ninth-least penalized team in the league.

Across the board and on many levels, the Washington Capitals have reverted to the solid team so many of us have come to know and love over the years. They are playing much better hockey, and their recent successful run has Caps fans believing that maybe the playoffs are not just a pipe dream this season.

Yes, the 5-2 loss to the New York Islanders on Saturday was a disappointing turn of events. It makes the game against the New York Rangers on Sunday even more important.

But do the Caps have it in them to overcome their terrible start and make a serious push for the playoffs?

Here are four reasons to believe the Washington Capitals will make a playoff run.

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