It’s possible that no team on this list has seen more recent regular season success than the Caps. However, that regular season success has yet to translate to any major runs in the postseason. Washington has three straight playoff appearances, with no appearances in the Eastern Conference Finals.
In each of the last two seasons, the Caps were eliminated by their bitter rival Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round. Before that, Washington fell short against another division rival in the Rangers, in what would start their current three year streak of losing in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
Alex Ovechkin’s time, in the thick of his prime, is running out in D.C. He’s still an elite scorer in the league, but his best years are getting wasted away. Caps fans saw multiple Presidents’ Trophies resulting in early round exits in the playoffs.
Vezina Trophy winning goalie Braden Holtby needs to step up his game in the playoffs also. Holtby does not seem to show the same in the playoffs that he does during the regular season. This is yet another year where the Caps are leading the Metropolitan Division during the regulars season. We’ll see what happens.