It’s game number two, and this one should be, shall we say, a doozy. Why? On top of it being the home opener for the Washington Capitals, they get an early visit from an old friend.
Karl Alzner makes his return to his home of seven plus seasons. The game itself should be pretty good as well, featuring high profile names such as Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Shea Weber and Carey Price.
These are two eastern conference powerhouses going at it early in the season. It’s an early test for the Washington Capitals. Lets take a look at how the Capitals players did against the Habs last season.
The Capitals played against Montreal three times last season. The Top two guys on the Caps did very well against Price and the Canadiens. Backstrom and Ovechkin combined for 4 goals and 8 Points.
Saying that, there were a couple of Capitals who failed to register a single point vs Montreal last season, T.J. Oshie and John Carlson, both had zero points in 3 games. Oshie however did miss one game vs Montreal last season.
Some Capitals including Oshie have impressive career numbers against the Canadiens.
Get used to seeing this. Ovechkin tops the list with his 44 points in 42 games including 23 goals. Andre Burakovsky averages scoring a goal every other game against Montreal and with the loss of offense this past offseason, the Caps could use that production.
Jay Beagle is interesting here. He has scored 5 goals against the Habs, which is second most vs one team in his NHL career. The only team he has scored against more is the Chicago Blackhawks, with 6. Beagle’s 6 points vs the Canadiens is tied with four other teams (Buf, Car, Chi & Col) for the most points he’s scored against one team.
A couple defensemen have nice numbers vs Montreal, Carlson and Niskanen the notable ones. Not a lot of goals though. We’ll see if the Caps can get some more offense from their back end.
Holtby has terrific stats vs the Canadiens in 14 games. Last season he was 2-1-0 vs Montreal with a 1.69 goals against average and a .929 save percentage.
The Caps did well in possession vs Montreal last season. As a team Washington put up a 54.79% Corsi rating which was the sixth best for them, it was the best among eastern conference playoff teams.
Plenty of numbers to look at up there but me being someone who tends to look at the bad first John Carlson stands out to me, his 40.22 needs to come up.
Onto Les Habitants.
Looking at all these stats there isn’t too much to mention. Max Pacioretty was a point per game player vs the Caps last season and that’s kind of it.
Again, me focusing on the bad, but Brenden Gallagher has just 1 point vs the Capitals in his career. Carey Price really jumps out, being one of the best goalies in the world over the past couple of seasons he has some bad numbers vs the Capitals.
Special teams were good against Montreal last season. In ten power play opportunities vs Price and the Canadiens last season the Caps potted three power play goals. The penalty kill was also pretty good allowing just one PPG in nine chances.
Shots per game also favored the Capitals last season. Against the Canadiens the Caps averaged 30 shots per game while allowing just over 23 shots per game.
Game number two out of eighty-two and the home opener in the newly renamed Capital One Arena. Have fun Caps’ fans.
Rosters and game notes can be found here.
By CJ Witt