The Washington Capitals and their fans should be very pleased with how the 2019-20 NHL season started. The Caps are in sole possession of first place in the Metropolitan division and first place in the entire league with a record of 22-5-5 (49 points). The Capitals have blended solid offense with smart defense and goaltending to create such a great start for themselves. Unfortunately for Washington, they are not alone when it comes to playing great hockey — especially in their own division.
The New York Islanders have brought themselves to another stellar start to the season, as they are 20-7-2 (42 points) and have played three fewer games than the Caps. The Islanders, led by former Capitals Stanley Cup-winning coach, Barry Trotz, have stuck to their identity of playing great defense and have been seeing solid goaltending performances by tandem Thomas Griess and former Cap Semyon Varlamov. The Islanders will surely make things interesting atop the Metropolitan division standings.
Other than the Isles, the Flyers, Penguins, and Hurricanes, all big Capitals rivals, have also played well thus far. The Metropolitan Division has four of the top 10 teams in the overall league standings, which is quite a feat — especially when Pittsburgh is at No. 12. The Metropolitan is the most competitive and probably the most talented division in the NHL at the moment. Many teams are either playing great hockey or have the potential to switch it on at any time, like we have seen from the New York Rangers at times. That being said, it should be quite an interesting postseason in this division come April, as many teams have a shot of making the playoffs — and possibly making a deep run.
As for the Caps, they shouldn’t worry about the other teams below them thus far. They just need to keep playing their brand of hockey, get some key wins, and play hard for their fans. It should be a very exciting season in the NHL.