4 - The Capitals’ “magic number” to clinch the Metropolitan Division, something they can achieve tonight with a win of any kind and a regulation loss by the Islanders. Should they recapture the division crown, they’d be the first Cup-winning team to do so since the Boston Bruins followed up their 2011 championship with a Northeast Division (RIP) win in 2011-12. Of course, that didn’t end so well for them for some reason...
The Caps also currently sit just three points shy of last year’s total with three games remaining - should they surpass last year’s total, they’d be the first team to win the Cup and then win their division while also improving on their point total since the Devils did so back in 2000-01, and the first to repeat as division winners with an improved point total since the 1996-97 Avalanche.
Another division title would also be the Caps’ fourth-consecutive Metro title, which is a tie for the longest run atop the division since they rattled off four straight Southeast Division wins from 2007-08 to 2010-11.
Obviously there are still things to sort out regarding this year’s division champs; nothing is set in stone just yet. Nevertheless, it’s worth noting that the Caps have played some very good hockey over the last year, and really over the last four years - and we shouldn’t take that for granted.