Capitals fans have been treated well so far in the 2015-16 season. The Capitals are standing strong in the Metropolitan Division and Eastern Conference as they have recorded a 14-5-1 record through 20 games. The Caps are only 5 points behind the NY Rangers in the Metropolitan Division, with a game in hand.
So what has been good for the Capitals so far this season? How have the Capitals had one of the best quarters in franchise history? Let’s take a look at some of the things the Capitals should be thankful for this Thanksgiving:
- GREAT SPECIAL TEAMS
The Capitals have been fantastic on special teams this year. Through 20 games, the Capitals have the 8th best powerplay and 5th best penalty killing units on the NHL circuit. Special teams are very important in the games played, and can make or break a club’s performance. The Capitals penalty kill has gone from a middle of the pack unit to a top 5 unit within one season.
- CONTINUING EMERGENCE OF EVGENY KUZNETSOV
It is safe to say that Kuznetsov has probably been the Capitals MVP for the first quarter of the season. He began figuring his game out in the second half of last season, and his momentum carried over into last season’s playoffs and into this season. “Kuzya” signed a 2-year extension over the summer and he continues to show why he was worthy of a 1st round pick back in 2010. He has 21 points in the first 20 games.
- DMITRY ORLOV’S HOUDINI MAGICTRICK
By far one of the most bizarre goals one will ever see, Orlov has had the strangest goal for the Capitals this season. This goal happened a few days ago on November 21 against the visiting Colorado Avalanche. It is amazing to watch the Avalanche and Capitals players freeze on the ice because no one knew where the puck went, except Dmitry, of course.
- TOP 5 IN SEVERAL CATEGORIES
In addition to the Capitals great special teams, the Capitals are in the top 5 in many different things. They are ranked in the top 5 in goals against per game (2.20), shots on goal (31.1), shots against per game (26.0), and regulation plus overtime wins (ROWS) (13).
- BRADEN HOLTBY’S SPECTACULAR GOALTENDING
The 26-year old Saskatchewan native took his long term extension with the Capitals last summer after a career year, and his momentum has carried into this season. Braden is at the top in the NHL in wins, goals against average, and save percentage. The only goaltender who has better numbers than Holtby is Henrik Lundqvist in New York. If Holtby keeps at this outstanding pace, there is no doubt he will be a Vezina Trophy nominee at the end of the season.
- NEW ACQUISITIONS PAYING OFF
The Capitals brought in TJ Oshie and Justin Williams over the summer to give the Capitals some added speed and skill on their right side. Both guys are paying off and have been nice additions. Through 20 games, Oshie has registered 11 points, while Justin Williams has registered 15 points.
It has been a fun start to the Capitals season and there is a lot to be thankful for so far. What are you thankful for Capitals fans? Enjoy the holiday!