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This grizzled old veteran is still dangerous.
There is a slim chance the Washington Capitals would play the Boston Bruins in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, if the Caps qualified for the postseason. The Bruins are currently fourth in the Eastern Conference standings, trailing the Northeast Division-leading Montreal Canadiens by one point and the Eastern Conference leading Pittsburgh Penguins by six.
If the Bruins end up winning their division, they would play the Capitals if Washington finished as the seventh seed. Or, if Washington won the Southeast Division, these two foes would meet again in the playoffs only if the Bruins succumbed to both the Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs, both six points behind the Bruins.
More ominous, however, is the specter of the final game of the 2013 NHL schedule. The Capitals host the Bruins on April 27 at Verizon Center. If the Caps are still alive in the playoff chase, then they will need points against the Bruins to either guarantee a spot in the postseason or improve their playoff seeding.
But now, the Bruins have gotten even stronger, posing a more daunting obstacle to the Capitals' playoff hopes when they meet on April 27. Boston acquired veteran goal scorer and likely Hockey Hall of Fame candidate Jaromir Jagr. The trade was first tweeted by the Boston Bruins on April 2:
In deal that brings in Jagr, Stars acquire Lane MacDermid, rights to unsigned draft pick Cody Payne & 2013 conditional second round pick^CS
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) April 2, 2013
Jaromir Jagr instantly improves the Bruins offense and power play at the same time. Boston's offense is ranked 12th in the NHL at 2.74 goals per game (G/G), and its power play is 24th in the league in power play percentage (PP%) at 15.2.
Both units will get a boost from the addition of Jagr, who has scored 14 goals this season—ranking him 24th in the NHL—and six power play goals, good for 18th in the league. No Boston Bruins player has scored more goals or power play goals than Jaromir Jagr this season.
Therefore, the final game of the 2013 season will be that much tougher for the Washington Capitals when they see an old nemesis, this time wearing a slightly different yellow-and-black sweater.