The Caps haven’t been to the conference finals since 1998. How many other teams can say that?
Five: the Islanders, Panthers, Blue Jackets, Predators, and Atlanta/Winnipeg. The NHL’s 24 other teams have all made at least one appearance in the conference finals since then.
The Caps have won three playoff series since Ted Leonsis bought the club in the spring of 1999. How many teams have won fewer?
Seven, including three in the East — the Islanders, Panthers and Atlanta/Winnpeg. Here’s the list of playoff series wins, from the 2000 postseason until this week.
1. Detroit Red Wings 17
2. New Jersey Devils 15
3. Philadelphia Flyers 12
4t. Colorado Avalanche 11
4t. Pittsburgh Penguins 11
4t. San Jose Sharks 11
7. Anaheim Ducks 10
8. Carolina Hurricanes 9
9t. Dallas Stars 7
9t. Ottawa Senators 7
9t. Tampa Bay Lightning 7
9t. Vancouver Canucks 7
13t. Boston Bruins 6
13t. Chicago Blackhawks 6
15t. Buffalo Sabres 5
15t. Montreal Canadiens 5
15t. Toronto Maple Leafs 5
18t. New York Rangers 4
18t. St. Louis Blues 4
20t. Washington Capitals 3
20t. Calgary Flames 3
20t. Edmonton Oilers 3
20t. L.A. Kings 3
24t. Minnesota Wild 2
24t. Nashville Predators 2
24t. Phoenix Coyotes 2
Now answer both of those questions over the last five seasons.
Since the Caps became playoff regulars in 2008, they’ve won three playoff series. That’s tied for eighth in the NHL, and tied for fourth in the East, although the Rangers could still pass them this year. Fifteen different teams — exactly half the league — have made the conference finals since 2008.
The Caps have made the playoffs five straight years. Who else can say that?
Only five other teams have playoff streaks of at least five years. Here’s the list.
1. Detroit Red Wings: 21 seasons
2. San Jose Sharks: 8 seasons
3. Pittsburgh Penguins: 6 seasons
4t. Washington Capitals: 5 seasons
4t. Boston Bruins: 5 seasons
4t. Philadelphia Flyers: 5 seasons
The Caps made the second round two years in a row. Who else can say that?
Just the Flyers and the Predators, and they both lost in the conference semifinals, just like the Caps.
The Capitals went 7-7 in the playoffs this season. How did that compare to their previous, say, 42 games under Dale Hunter.
In their final 42 games of the regular season, the Caps went 7-7, then 6-8, then 8-6. If you include loser points, they went 7-4-3, then 6-7-1, then 8-4-2.
The Capitals went 7-7 against Boston and New York in the playoffs. How did that compare to the regular season?
The Caps were a combined 5-3 against Boston and New York in the regular season.
How did the Caps’ postseason goal differential during this year’s playoffs compare to previous postseasons?
In seven games in 2008, the Caps were outscored 20-23.
In 14 games in 2009, the Caps outscored their opponents 41-38.
In seven games in 2010, the Caps outscored their opponents 22-20.
In nine games in 2011, the Caps were outscored 23-24.
In 14 games in 2012, the Caps were outscored, 29-30.
That makes 135-135, if you were wondering.
Now give me one more depressing nugget.
Ok, how’s this, via Sick Unbelievable.
Washington DC is one of only six cities that have not been represented in the final four of any of the big 4 sports (NHL, NBA, NFL, MLB), since the Caps’ last appearance in 1998.
The only other cities in North American can boast such an unimpressive track record are: Cincinnati, Columbus, Kansas City, Memphis, and Winnipeg. Given the gap in Winnipeg’s franchise, the relative newness of franchises in Memphis and Columbus, and the fact that Washington is the only one of these cities that is represented in all 4 sports, it’s easy to identify DC as the most unsuccessful sports city since 1998.