Everyone is rooting against the Capitals. Leading analytics models give them a 0 percent chance of winning the Stanley Cup.

The Washington Capitals are the ultimate underdogs heading into the first round of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Their matchup with the Presidents’ Trophy-winning New York Rangers is lopsided on paper from every angle. New York qualified for the playoffs on March 26, while the Capitals and their minus-37 goal differential settled in Game 82.

The 23-point difference in the standings between the two teams is clearly visible in just about every playoff prediction you can find. Since you can’t easily find anyone picking the Capitals to even get out of the first round, their chances of winning the Stanley Cup are considered even slimmer.

MoneyPuck only gives the Capitals a 10 percent chance of beating the Rangers and a 0 percent chance of lifting the Cup at the end of the line. The Capitals are the only team in the entire model that is given a non-existent chance to win a championship with the New York Islanders not much better at a 0.1 percent chance.

Dom from The Athletic, which has a long history of its capital-hating model, actually gives them a higher chance, 21 percent, of taking down the Rangers. However, his calculation for the team’s Cup chances matches MoneyPuck’s, giving Washington a major goose egg.

In case you need another example of a statistical model that doubts the capitals, we have Micah Blake McCurdy from Hockeyviz with his results. His very groovy-looking visualization that looks like every 1970s rug put together has the Capitals’ odds of beating New York at 38 percent, the highest of the three analytical models.

While Micah’s calculations may be the most optimistic about Washington’s chances of winning a round, he still has a chance of taking home the franchise’s second Cup, also at virtually zero percent.

For those less inclined to blindly trust numbers, capitals are also picked in more traditional methods. ESPN polled 26 of their hockey experts about each first-round matchup. 25 of the 26 picked the Rangers over the Capitals.

No other series was as unanimous as that of Washington and New York. The only brave soldier who chooses the Caps, Sean Allen, is a fantasy hockey analyst for ESPN. According to the rest of his colleagues, he is currently living in a fantasy world.

But not only do the capitals have almost all of humanity against them, they also have man’s best friend turned against them.

Steph Furry, the trick-shotting corgi, also joins the Rangers.

Before every member of humanity and all their pets sided against his team, Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin had already readily accepted the role of underdog. The Big Eight hasn’t been picked in the first round of the playoffs often during his storied career, but he clearly understands the test that awaits his team this spring.

β€œYes, we all understand how to play, what kind of team New York is going to be,” Ovechkin said Thursday. β€œWe’re just going to take it one game at a time and see what happens.”

The Capitals will get their first chance to shock the hockey world on Sunday. Puck drop for Game One of the series will take place at 3:00 PM at Madison Square Garden.

Related Articles

Back to top button