The Washington Capitals (4-3-1) are trending upwards after winning their third straight game against the San Jose Sharks on Sunday. While the trajectory of the team itself is small, one player has shattered through the glass ceiling: Dylan Strome.
Strome has shot out of a cannon as of late. He leads the team with six goals and currently has tallies in three straight games.
“A lot is happening positively when he’s on the ice offensively. A product of that is you don’t see him having to defend very much which is always a positive for an offensive player,” Capitals head coach Spencer Carbery said on Monday. “He’s not spending much time in the defensive zone. He’s constantly in the o-zone, on the attack, so he’s playing at a real high level.”
Strome has been the main catalyst of the Capitals’ offense. He has created numerous chances by getting pucks to the net from different angles and playing a well-rounded game. Meanwhile, he was terrific in the faceoff dot, going 77.8% at the circle. He won 21 draws, 17 of those coming at even-strength, against San Jose.
“Those are insane numbers for a centerman and a lot of them are in the offensive zone,” Carbery said. “They’re matching their best centerman or trying to get their best centerman in those situations defensively… He’s winning a crazy amount. Those numbers aren’t sustainable, but it was an impressive night.”
Furthermore, he has been on the receiving end on some perfect passing plays. The prettiest being his power-play strike against the Minnesota Wild. Strome was wide open on the backdoor and Ovechkin quickly fed it across to him for the easy goal.
Dylan Strome has five goals in his last four games pic.twitter.com/KlVe9C6Jix
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) October 27, 2023
But not all his goals have been the flashiest. His goal against San Jose was one where he just threw the puck on net, and it squeaked through the five-hole of Sharks goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood.
right down the middle pic.twitter.com/Ozx5V0mqyI
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) October 29, 2023
However, the former third-overall pick credits his success to his linemates: Alex Ovechkin and Tom Wilson. The trio combined for six high-danger chances for and 14 scoring chances overall at even strength according to NaturalStatTrick.
“I’m getting a good opportunity and playing a lot of minutes. I’m back on the power play and just having some confidence with my linemates. [Ovechkin] is making some great passes, Tom’s obviously doing his thing and working hard and helping us out,” Strome said. “It’s just clicking. When you get relied upon by the coach with those kinds of minutes, you gotta produce and luckily we were able to do that last night.”
Ovechkin has eight points (two goals, six assists) and Wilson is starting to find his game with points in four straight. The top line hopes to continue its success against the New York Islanders on Thursday, Nov. 2.
By Jacob Cheris