The push for the playoffs has begun around the NHL universe. With the 2019 NHL Playoffs beginning in the second week of April, the excitement level for hockey fans is ramping up. The Washington Capitals have played 72 out of 82 games. With 10 games left on the slate, every point earned is critical in this point of the regular season.
The Washington Capitals are in a good position with 10 games left. Entering Tuesday, they are tied with the NY Islanders for the top spot in the Metropolitan Division. Both clubs have 91 points respectively. The Capitals appear to be playoff bound once again, and look very healthy heading down the stretch.
SCORING PLENTY OF GOALS AND WINNING WITH OFFENSIVE DEPTH
The Capitals have a roster that is built to win and go far in the postseason. Over the last few years, the Capitals have shown the hockey world why their roster is very good from top to bottom. They have depth at every position needed to win hockey games.
The Washington Capitals strong depth is showing late in the season. Entering Tuesday, the Capitals have four skaters with 20+ goals. By the time the regular season concludes, the Capitals could have seven skaters with 20+ goals.
In addition to having four skaters with 20+ goals already, the Capitals have four skaters with 60+ points. The Capitals also currently have seven skaters that have 40+ points.
The Capitals are getting goals from all over the ice. They are currently averaging 3.39 goals per game, which is 6th most in the NHL.
DEPTH AT KEY POSITIONS
The Capitals are a well-structured hockey team. In addition to Alex Ovechkin and his iconic scoring, the Capitals are deep in other key positions on the ice. The Capitals have strong depth up the middle with their centre ice position. Nicklas Backstrom and Evgeny Kuznetsov are two of the NHL’s elite offensive centremen, and Lars Eller is a solid third line centre that contributes at both ends of the rink.
The Capitals depth extends on their blueline, with John Carlson as the anchor at that position. Carlson is having another outstanding year for the Capitals, as he has recorded 12 goals and 64 points in 71 games. Carlson is just four points away from tying his career record in points from last season. Matt Niskanen, Dmitry Orlov, and Michal Kempny do not bring the same level of offensive firepower that Carlson brings, but they can all log lots of minutes and contribute on special teams.
ELITE TEAMS HAVE ELITE OFFENSE
The top clubs in the NHL all have elite offensive talent. Teams like Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh, Washington, Toronto, and Calgary all have elite forwards that can score goals and put points up. Some notable names that lead the league in offensive scoring include Nikita Kucherov (Tampa Bay), Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh), Alex Ovechkin (Washington), Mitchell Marner (Toronto), and Johnny Gaudreau (Calgary).
For a hockey club to make a deep run in the postseason, it must have a balanced scoring attack. All four forward lines and three defensive pairs must contribute regularly to get the best results on the ice.
By: George Foussekis