The Washington Capitals are cruising into November as one of the top teams in the NHL. The Capitals breezed through the grueling October gauntlet, which should give this Capitals team plenty of momentum as the holiday season approaches.
Through the first 16 games, the Capitals have tallied 63 goals against the opposition. That is almost 4 goals per game. Let’s dive in to how the Capitals are making life difficult on the opposition.
THE POWERPLAY IS FINALLY CLICKING
While the powerplay has been off at times, it has rebounded in recent games. The Capitals are 25.9% effective with the man advantage. That efficiency is good for 4th best in the NHL.
Alex Ovechkin and T.J. Oshie have each recorded four goals with the man advantage. John Carlson leads all Capitals skaters with seven powerplay points.
ALL FORWARD LINES ARE CONTRIBUTING
The Capitals are getting goals from all over the lineup. Jakub Vrana has been on fire in recent games, and now has recorded 9 goals this season. Only Alex Ovechkin has more goals for the Capitals, as he has 11.
Lars Eller is another Capitals player who is quietly having a good start to the season. He has tallied 5 goals and 11 points through 16 games.
The Capitals fourth line had their best game of the season against Buffalo last Friday. Chandler Stephenson and Brendan Leipsic tallied goals in the first period of that game, as the Capitals rallied to a 6-1 win.
JOHN CARLSON’S BLUELINE OFFENSE
“John Norris’” offensive production from the blueline has been outstanding. He has recorded 7 goals and 23 points through 16 games. He currently leads all NHL defensemen in the points race.
When a club has a defenseman that can produce points and chip in offensively, that opens the offensive attack. Carlson’s presence on the Capitals powerplay is very noticeable. While most teams want to shade Alex Ovechkin’s office, it is hard to double team him because John Carlson has a big shot from the powerplay point.
THE CAPITALS CAN PLAY A VARIETY OF WAYS ON THE ICE
This Capitals team is very talented because they can match up against teams that play different styles. For example, they can match up well against a team like Toronto, where it is more of a speed and skill game. The Capitals can also match up against teams like Dallas, where the game is slower and more of a grind.
Whatever style the opposition plays, the Capitals can match it. The Capitals have a good mix of players that can play all kinds of styles.
By: George Foussekis