I wondered what the Washington Capitals were going to do at the NHL trade deadline. Washington decided to go all-in with a trade to bring in Martin Erat. The Caps get a player in Erat that was leading the Nashville Predators in points this season and brings another offensive force to the table. Washington now has three solid scoring options with Erat, Alex Ovechkin and Mike Ribeiro. This is a move that had better work out for the Capitals though because they gave up one of their top prospects in Filip Forsberg.
The Capitals are now just two points out of the lead in the Southeast Division and are back to the .500 mark at 17-17-2. Washington has gone from a team that was nowhere near the playoff chase to a team that now could end up with the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference and home-ice advantage. That is a massive turnaround in just the last couple weeks. Erat had been with Nashville his whole career so I’m sure it was tough for him to go, but Nashville wasn’t going anywhere the rest of this season.
The situation in Washington is much better, and he goes to a team that can score goals unlike what the Predators were doing. The Capitals are now a team that could be the surprise of this year’s playoffs. I would be very fearful if the Capitals do finish with the No. 3 seed. The team who finishes sixth could be in for a quick exit from the playoffs if that happens. Washington has gotten a ton better with this surprising trade for Erat and now could put pressure on the top three teams in the Eastern Conference.