The highlight of Wednesday night's packed schedule was a showdown between the two teams sitting on top of the Eastern Conference standings. The Montreal Canadiens and New York Rangers faced off in New York, with the Canadiens earning an emphatic 5-1 win in what felt very much like a statement game.
And so, on the morning after, we can all agree on who now deserves the title of the East's best team.
The Washington Capitals.
Well, OK, I might be getting a bit ahead of myself here. The Canadiens deserve full credit for Wednesday night's impressive win, even if it might have cost them Carey Price, who left after two periods with another apparent leg injury. And nobody's going to write off the Rangers based on one game, even though their fans must be at least a little worried about how easily the Habs' speedsters exposed them all night.
But while all this was going on in New York, the Capitals were earning a tidy 5-3 home win over the Winnipeg Jets, drawing within three points of the Rangers for first in the Metro, with Washington holding a game in hand. Both teams have been hot in November. And putting aside the (embarrassing, inexcusable) presence of the loser point, the Rangers woke up Thursday with a 16-6 record, while the Caps are 15-6. Not much to choose from there.