Power ‘On’: Capitals’ Power Play is Heating Up

NHL: New York Rangers at Washington Capitals

The Capitals power play has always been known as one of the best in the league during the Ovechkin era. The power play unit has struggled early on this season, but has since undergone a resurgence. 

Before we jump into the present, let’s take a look back at the Caps power play history beginning with the 2007-08 season. That was the same year the team made the playoffs for the first time in the “Ovechkin era”.

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As you can see, the Capitals have been in the top 10 in all but two years. 2010-11 was Bruce Boudreau’s last full season with the team. The following season, he was fired in late November and Dale Hunter took over as the bench boss for the rest of the season.

The extra-man unit got off to a sluggish start in their first 22 games this season, and by the start of December were ranked 24th in the league with a low success rate of 14.29%. The turning point on the power play unit came on their six-game winning streak that went from December 5th-16th. On December 5th, Marcus Johansson tied the game on a power play goal that would lead to his eventual game-winner in overtime. During this stretch the Capitals had eight power play goals on 23 chances, a success rate of 34.78%.

During the month of January the Capitals continued to roll, posting a 12-2-1 mark for the month. During this stretch the Capitals were 12-39 on the man advantage. That’s a success rate of 30.77%.

The Capitals recently went on a 15-game home winning streak, their best home stretch in franchise history. In that run the Capitals went 13 for 41 on the power play with a 31.7% conversion rate.

Heading into tonight’s game against the San Jose Sharks, Washington has leapfrogged from 24th to right back where they belong, the NHL’s top 10. They now currently sit seventh in the league with a success rate of 21.6%. If you’re doing the math that’s 42 power play goals in 194 chances.


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Alex Ovechkin leads the Capitals in power play goals with 12. Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie are right behind him with 6 apiece. With the power play hitting their stride at the right time it could give the Capitals the boost they need heading into the playoffs.

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By Michael Marzzacco

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