Capitals Finish with Most Wins this Decade and Record Third-Most Wins in Any Decade in NHL History

The Washington Capitals will end the 2019 calendar year when they host the New York Islanders on Dec. 31 and close out the 2010s as the winningest franchise of the decade and finish with the third-most wins in a single decade in NHL history. 


The Capitals (465-231-0-90) recorded the most wins of any team in the 2010s and only trail the Montreal Canadiens (501-160-130-0) and the Boston Bruins (487-190-111-0) of the 1970s as the winningest franchise of any decade in NHL history. Additionally, with a .649 point percentage, the Capitals only trail the 1970s Canadiens (.712) and Bruins (.689) and the 2000s Detroit Red Wings (.682) in point percentage in a decade in NHL history.

The Capitals close out the decade as one of six teams to win the Stanley Cup (2018), one of seven teams to win the Prince of Wales Trophy (2018), one of seven teams and the only team to win three Presidents’ Trophies (2009-10, 2015-16, 2016-17) and the only team to win at least seven division titles (2009-10, 2010-11, 2012-13, 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19).

Washington is just one of two NHL franchises to finish with over 1,000 points in the 2010s (Washington: 1,020; Pittsburgh Penguins: 1,006). Additionally, the Capitals finished the decade with the third-most goals (2,396), the sixth-fewest goals against (2,060), the highest power play percentage (22.1) and tied for the ninth-highest penalty kill percentage (81.9).

Alex Ovechkin will conclude the decade with the most goals (437g), while Nicklas Backstrom will finish with the most assists (511a). The Capitals duo becomes the second pair of teammates in NHL history to lead an entire decade in both respective categories and play with one team (1960s: Chicago Blackhawk forwards Bobby Hull: 429g, Stan Mikita: 489a). In the 2010s, the Capitals were 427-203-81 with both Ovechkin and Backstrom in the lineup, the most team points (935) for a pair of teammates in a decade in NHL history. A 427-203-81record equates to a .658 point percentage, which is equivalent to 108 standings points in an 82-game season.

Ovechkin will finish with the most goals (437) in the 2010s; only five have scored more in a decade: Brett Hull (494) in the 1990s, Wayne Gretzky (637), Jari Kurri (460) and Michel Goulet (441) in the 1980s and Phil Esposito (519) in the 1970s. Ovechkin additionally ranks first in power play goals (171), even strength goals (266), game-winning goals (70) and shots (3,466) in the decade. He is one of five players with over 500 games played in the 2010s to average over a point per game (Ovechkin: 1.01) and ranks third overall in points (779). Additionally, Ovechkin is tied with Claude Giroux for the most power play points (288) in the decade, and each have one game remaining in 2019.

Ovechkin won six Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophies (no other player won more than two), was one of 10 Hart Memorial Trophy winners, one of eight Ted Lindsay winners and one of nine Conn Smythe recipients. Ovechkin’s nine individual trophies are tied with Sidney Crosby for the most in the decade. Additionally, Ovechkin’s eight post season NHL All-Star selections (First team: 2009-10, 2012-13, 2014-15, 2018-19; Second Team: 2010-11, 2012-13, 2013-14, 2015-16) are the most selections in the decade.

Backstrom is one of just two players to reach the 500 assist mark in the 2010s (Claude Giroux: 506). He ranks first in power play assists (233) and third in overall power play points (284). Backstrom’s 699 points in the 2010s are the seventh most in the NHL.

Braden Holtby concludes the decade ranking first in win percentage (.612) and sixth overall in wins (274). Holtby recorded the most wins in a single season twice in the decade (2015-16, 2016-17), tying Martin Brodeur for the NHL record for the most wins in a single season in NHL history (48) in the 2015-16 season. Holtby was one of nine Vezina Trophy winners in the 2010s and was the recipient of the 2016-17 William Jennings Trophy. He tied for seventh in the 2010s in save percentage (.917) among players with at least 400 games, tied for the eighth-most shutouts (35) and ranked 11th in goals against average (2.50).

John Carlson concludes the decade ranking fifth among all defensemen with 453 points, seventh in assists (350) and tied for eighth in goals (103).

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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3 Responses to Capitals Finish with Most Wins this Decade and Record Third-Most Wins in Any Decade in NHL History

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