To Start The Season, The Capitals’ Offense Is Firing On All Cylinders


One of the major questions heading into the season for the Washington Capitals was whether or not the star players, such as forwards Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom, would be able to get to the level they were at last year since the big item on their bucket list is now crossed off. 

The two, as well as the rest of their team, have put those questions to rest with a hot start. To begin the season, the Capitals have come out of the gates strong, taking five out of a possible six standings points, scoring an average of six goals per game, converting on 50% of their power plays, and averaging 34 shots per game.

In addition to high numbers in the team’s offensive stats, the Capitals just have four players who haven’t tallied a point yet and two (forward Dmitrij Jaskin and defenseman Michal Kempny) made their season debut last night. Forward Andre Burakovsky and defenseman Madison Bowey (who was scratched for one game so far this season) are the only others who have not tallied a point yet. While the Capitals are not likely to keep scoring five-plus goals every game, it has been impressive that they’ve been able to do so against some of the best competition in the league like they have done. So far this season, the Capitals have six forwards who have averaged more than a point per game. Center Evgeny Kuznetsov, who tallied one goal and four points in the Capitals’ 5-2 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday night, leads the team with seven points. Behind him follow forward T.J. Oshie, who is tied for the team lead in goals with Ovechkin (four), with six points, defenseman John Carlson (two goals, six points), Backstrom (one goal, six points), Ovechkin (five points), and forward Brett Connolly (three assists).

What makes the Capitals’ early season goal spree even more impressive is that top-line forward Tom Wilson, who tallied 14 goals and 35 points in 78 regular season games and five goals and 15 points in 21 playoff games last season, has been out of the lineup due to suspension. Wilson, 24, is not eligible to return until right before Thanksgiving.

With Wilson out of the lineup, Connolly has skated in his spot alongside Ovechkin and Kuznetsov and has complemented that line well, even though he has yet to find the back of the net this season.

While Washington is unlikely to keep stuffing the net at that scoring rate all season long, it has been impressive that they have started out with no problem doing so after everyone expected them to start off slowly and with one of their most important forwards out of the lineup. It’s no secret that the Capitals’ offense is as dangerous as it is but with the dreaded Stanley Cup hangover in addition to Wilson being out of the lineup, it’s surprising that the team is able to find the back of the net so seamlessly right out of the gate.

The team just needs to keep it up as the high-powered offenses of the New Jersey Devils and Toronto Maple Leafs, who are tied with each other and the Chicago Blackhawks for second in the NHL with an average of 5.00 goals per game, are next on the dock. Those two games should be very entertaining nonetheless and full of offensive firepower.

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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5 Responses to To Start The Season, The Capitals’ Offense Is Firing On All Cylinders

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  4. Clifford Keefe says:

    I wouldn’t say they’re firing on all cylinders yet, offensively–until Burakovsky, Vrana and Connolly get it going in earnest, which they should before long, hopefully. ..

    Notwithstanding that, we’ve done pretty well thus far–until tonight, that is…

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