The records matter now only for what they mean in terms of the differences. It's time to think, "tie-breakers." Here is the tie-breaking formula...
1. The greater number of games won.
2. The greater number of points earned in games between the tied clubs. If two clubs are tied, and have not played an equal number of home games against each other, points earned in the first game played in the city that had the extra game shall not be included. If more than two clubs are tied, the higher percentage of available points earned in games among those clubs, and not including any "odd" games, shall be used to determine the standing.
3. The greater differential between goals for and against for the entire regular season.
Here is where the Caps stand on points and the three tie-breakers, relative to their own position:
In the event of a tie with any of the clubs in front of them, the Caps can win a tie-breaker only if they will have posted more wins, since they lose on head-to-head points-earned differential with each of those teams.
If the Caps come in on the short end of a three point game, it will have all the look of a loss. That is how fine the margin of error has become...there is none.