Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
As the Washington Capitals are in the city of Brotherly Love tonight taking on the Philadelphia Flyers, there are three players to be watching as they could be hitting yet more milestones. The team is hoping for a victory after a crushing 5-3 loss against the Pittsburgh Penguins back on Thursday. Forward Jakub Vrana had two goals that night hit the twenty-one goal plateau for this season and captain Alex Ovechkin got to 1,200 career points despite being defeated by Pittsburgh. As we quickly study the players below, it is quite possible for any one of them if not all of them to achieve the breakthroughs:
Tom Wilson: The 20th Goal this Season
The rough and tough enforcer is just one goal away from a new career-high this season. With 19 goals already under his belt, Wilson has improved greatly ever since the 20-game suspension, which was decreased to 14 by a neutral arbitrator. His offensive and defensive presence have given the team a stronger performance. Even though he has not scored in his last three games, Tom’s last goal was against Philadelphia on March 6. You know, the one when Ovechkin was on his knees and passed the puck to Wilson to get that unbelievable goal?
Nicklas Backstrom: The 50th Assist this Season totaling 640 Career Assists
When Backstrom recorded 600th career assist back in October, it was an incredible moment. His next assist will be the 50th in the season making the career number hit 640. In the last game against the Flyers, Backstrom also scored a goal and had an assist. He assisted Vrana’s first goal and defenseman John Carlson’s goal during the team’s 5-3 loss to the Penguins. The center spends almost twenty minutes on ice and is bound to have assists whether it be primary or secondary. If he were to assist a goal tonight, Backstrom would tie with Carlson in assists with 50 this season.
Brett Connolly: The 20th Assist
Connolly is certainly making a name for himself this season. The right winger already has 17 goals and 19 assists, which add up to 36 points currently. Just like Wilson, Connolly has not scored or had an assist since the last time the Capitals played Philadelphia, but he still continues to stay consistent on the ice. His productivity has enhanced since the beginning of the 2018-19 season. Connolly’s contract does expire this season, but what could potentially keep him with the Capitals another round or so would be his steadiness and success on the ice.
The line changes this season have affected all players, but more so these three in a positive way. No matter where they are in the top six, Wilson and Backstrom thrive. Connolly has done spectacularly on the third line with forward Andre Burakovksy and center Lars Eller. These forwards that could boost their stats tonight will always give the Capitals a great advantage.
By Della Young