Capitals Look for Improvement on Power Play in 2018

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The Capitals’ power play has been known to be one of their biggest strengths over the years. Whether it’s a blast from Alex Ovechkin’s office, a slick pass by Nicklas Backstrom, or a dirty goal in front of the net by T.J. Oshie, every time an opposing player goes to the sin bin, the fans at Capital One Arena come to their feet in anticipation of a potential goal. Recently, the power play hasn’t been the force it was and during a time where people around the world are making their New Year’s resolutions, the Capitals have one of their own: fix the power play. 

Since the 2009-10 season that saw the Capitals capture the franchise’s first Presidents’ Trophy, the Capitals have ranked first on the power play four times and within the top six five times. Last season’s power play unit was a roller coaster with a poor start but they hit their stride towards the tail end of the season. The Capitals rose in the rankings from 24th back in December to a tie for third place with the Pittsburgh Penguins when it was all said and done, earning a success rate of 23.1%.

Currently the Capitals are in the middle of the pack at 15th in power play percentage with a conversion rate of 19.5%. Prior to the Capitals’ win over the Bruins last Wednesday, the Capitals were just one for their last 20 on the man-advantage over nine games. Recently, there has been an upswing as the Capitals scored a power play goal in both their win over the Bruins and their win over the Devils. In all, they’ve been two for their last six. On Monday morning at Kettler, the Capitals’ special teams was hard at work.

After a couple of failed attempts, the top power play unit finally came through with a goal by Backstrom. And you can tell they were all excited.

The Capitals were 18th in the league during that 1-for-20 stretch. Now that they’ve moved up to 15th, it’s important they keep up the hard work and try to make it within the top 10. They’ll take on the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday night, who are ranked 24th in the NHL in the penalty kill with a success-rate of 78.7%. The Capitals will get an even bigger challenge against the St. Louis Blues on Sunday, who are 9th in the league on the PK with a 82.8% rate.

By Michael Marzzacco

About Michael Marzzacco

Michael is an avid DC sports fan with a passion for writing. He has followed the Washington Capitals since the 2003-04 season, around the time his enthusiasm for DC teams really began. It was from the days when they had the worst record in the league to when they became the most exciting team in the area. His Dad took him to his first Caps game a couple of years later. One of his favorite memories was being in the stands during the 2015 Winter Classic where Troy Brouwer scored the game-winning goal with 12 seconds left. Michael graduated from Radford University in May 2016, earning a degree in journalism and focusing on sports journalism and broadcasting. His goal is to work in sports media in Washington, D.C.
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One Response to Capitals Look for Improvement on Power Play in 2018

  1. Pingback: All 26 of Alex Ovechkin’s Goals Through the Midway Point of 2017-18 | NoVa Caps

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