Category Archives: Capital Questions
How will the top 3 teams in the East end the season?
Current Standing: 2nd
vs Bruins: 3-0-1
vs Devils: 2-0-2
Games Remaining: 5
Opponents: Sabres, Thrashers (twice), Lightning, Panthers
Current Standing: 1st
vs Capitals: 1-2-1
vs Devils: 2-1-1
Games Remaining: 6
Opponents: Senators (twice), Rangers, Canadiens, Sabres, Islanders
Current Standing: 3rd
vs Capitals: 2-2-0
vs Bruins: 2-2-0
Games Remaining: 5
Opponents: Lightning, Sabres, Maple Leafs, Senators, Hurricanes
I think the Boston Bruins will remain atop the East once the season reaches its conclusion. They have a hefty 7-point lead on the Capitals, and I think it will be too hard for the Caps to catch up. The Bruins will be facing the hardest opponents in my opinion with the Rangers, Canadiens, and Sabres all fighting for playoff spots. Their performance has been improving after going into a little bit of a slump they have won their past 4 games.
The Devils have the easiest schedule out of the three teams but have the lowest performance going winless in their past 6 games. I don’t see them catching up to the Caps even though they are only 3 points behind. Martin Brodeur hasn’t won a game since his win to break the all-time wins record. The only thing positive right now for the Devs is Zach Parise who is 2nd in the league in goals, and he should be a huge factor for them in the playoffs.
Consistent with the other two teams in this discussion, the Caps have been a little inconsistent lately. Jose Theodore has been good enough for the Caps to make the saves he needs to get in order to get wins. Also, Washington’s top players have been outstanding with Ovechkin, Green, Semin, and Backstrom leading the squad. They will end up in 2nd, but I think they will make a run at the Bruins and fall a bit short. The key for the Caps is to get production out of their mid-level players like Brooks Laich and Michael Nylander. Let’s hope I’m wrong though and the Caps get first in the East.
Does Alex Ovechkin shoot the puck TOO much?
No way. Alex Ovechkin has the best shot in the league not to mention the most goals. He leads the league with 50 and its because of his league-leading shot count of 468. He’s shot the puck 1,731 times in his 4-year career and has scored 50 goals in 3 of those seasons. The only year he fell under the 50-mark (46) was the only year he fell under 400 shots (392).
Alex has 8 games to reach the shot record in a season held by Phil Espisito at 550 shots. That means Ovie has to get 82 shots in those 8 games, but thats OK he averages about 7 shots a game this season and has reached double-digits 9 times. That definitely gives Caps fans a reason to yell shoot! every time he has the puck.
But since Alex shoots so much, he must never pass the puck right? Wrong! He is 18th in the NHL with 44 assists and has had that many in every season he has played. Greg Wyshynski of Puck Daddy said, “[Ovechkin] had more assists in his rookie season (54) with the Washington Capitals than Brett Hull had in any season of his career.”
He has 23 assists on the powerplay (t-9th), but also has 16 goals (t-3rd with Mike Green) and he’s 2nd in points with the man up. It’s safe to say he is pretty versatile on the PP, but he also gets it done even strength. He leads the league with 33 even strength goals, and it’s because his shot is just that scary.
So go ahead Alex keep on shooting.
“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” –Wayne Gretzky
*Photo Courtesy of The Hockey News
Will the Caps Be #1 in the Southeast Division Again This Year?
Yes: The Caps are 9-5-0 against the Southeast Division this year, and I don’t think Florida will catch them. The Panthers are 10 points behind Washington and have 1 game in-hand. 10 of the Caps next 15 games are against division foes, but they are in a bit of a slump as of late. Florida and Carolina are the only other teams in the Southeast that will be vying for playoff spots–the Caps are 2-2 against each team so far this season. Jose Theodore will be expected to stepup for the remainder of the season. With the Panthers in 6th place it’s safe to say they are the top contender in the Southeast for the Caps. Theo is 2-2 against the Panthers this season but has a GAA of only 2.75 in those 4 games. Alex Ovechkin has 25 points in 14 games verse the Southeast Division this year, including 3 game winners.