The Washington Capitals were 2-8-1 through 11 games and were heading towards the bottom of the league. Somehow, they pulled off an amazing comeback and went 25-10-2 over the rest of the season and stole the Southeast Division title away from Winnipeg. Alex Ovehckin and friends certainly pulled some rabbits out of their helmets. But can they do it again?
Team Name: Washington Capitals
Record: 27-18-3, 1st in Southeast, Lost 4-3 to NY Rangers in Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.
Player of the Season: Ovechkin posted 32 goals and 24 assists for a team-best 56 points. That’s surprising given how he had two goals in the first ten games of the season and eight goals (and 15 total points) after 19 games. That leaves 41 points over his final 29 games of the season. As Ovechkin went so did the Caps.
Breakout of the Season: Braden Holtby got lit up early and often this past season but he was able to pull it together and put out a solid March and April. He only allowed more than three goals twice in the final two months of the season. He was rather consistent down the stretch and became one of the more reliable goalies. He finished at 23-12-1 with a 2.58 GAA and a .920 save percentage which are solid numbers. But can he carry it over into the next season?
Disappointment of the Season: The penalty kill was the Achilles’ heel of this team. They finished 27th on the kill at 77.9 percent for the season. Imagine how much better the Caps would have been with a better kill. This will be the single biggest area for the Caps to focus on.
Team Analysis: The Capitals proved the old adage-it’s not how you start but rather how you finish. The Caps also were able to fatten up on the Southeast Division going 15-3-0 against a division that featured three other bottom feeders. While their final 3/4 of the season was impressive, it won’t happen again.
2013-2014 Story Lines: How will realignment impact the Capitals? They lost the Florida teams from their division and are lumped with Pittsburgh, Philly, the NY metro area teams and Columbus. Yeah, it won’t be an easy division for the Caps to make up ground on if they stumble out of the gate again.
2013-2014 Fantasy Guys to Have: Ovechkin, Holtby, Nicklas Backstrom, Mike Ribiero, Troy Brouwer, Mike Green, John Carlson
Guys On the Fringe: Joel Ward, Eric Fehr
|Alex Ovechkin, LW||48||32||24||56||2||36||20:53||16||11||0||0||220||14.5|
|Mike Ribeiro, C||48||13||36||49||-4||53||17:50||6||21||0||0||63||20.6|
|Nicklas Backstrom, C||48||8||40||48||8||20||19:54||3||15||0||0||82||9.8|
|Troy Brouwer, RW||47||19||14||33||-5||28||18:32||7||9||1||0||111||17.1|
|Mike Green, D||35||12||14||26||-3||20||24:51||4||10||0||0||96||12.5|
|John Carlson, D||48||6||16||22||11||18||23:01||0||5||0||0||97||6.2|
|Marcus Johansson, C||34||6||16||22||3||4||16:35||3||1||0||1||40||15.0|
|Joel Ward, RW||39||8||12||20||7||12||15:08||1||2||1||0||52||15.4|
|Eric Fehr, RW||41||9||8||17||14||10||13:22||2||1||1||0||72||12.5|
|Mathieu Perreault, C||39||6||11||17||7||20||11:40||2||1||0||0||47||12.8|
|Jason Chimera, LW||47||3||11||14||-5||48||12:40||0||0||0||0||92||3.3|
|Wojtek Wolski, LW||27||4||5||9||1||6||13:21||0||1||0||0||49||8.2|
|Jack Hillen, D||23||3||6||9||9||14||17:37||0||0||0||0||28||10.7|
|Steven Oleksy, D||28||1||8||9||9||33||17:16||0||0||0||0||25||4.0|
|Jay Beagle, C||48||2||6||8||-1||14||12:06||0||0||0||0||56||3.6|
|Matt Hendricks, C||48||5||3||8||-6||73||11:43||0||0||0||0||54||9.3|
|Tomas Kundratek, D||25||1||6||7||-5||8||16:09||0||3||0||0||23||4.3|
|John Erskine, D||30||3||3||6||10||34||18:28||0||0||0||0||32||9.4|
|Karl Alzner, D||48||1||4||5||-6||14||20:57||0||0||0||0||39||2.6|
|Brooks Laich, C||9||1||3||4||2||6||16:32||0||1||0||0||10||10.0|
|Martin Erat, LW†||9||1||2||3||0||4||13:55||0||0||0||0||9||11.1|
|Jeff Schultz, D||26||0||3||3||-6||12||14:15||0||0||0||0||12||0.0|
|Joey Crabb, RW||26||2||0||2||-1||8||9:25||0||0||0||0||20||10.0|
|Tom Poti, D||16||0||2||2||-2||2||15:13||0||1||0||0||8||0.0|
|Roman Hamrlik, D †||4||0||1||1||-1||2||15:36||0||0||0||0||2||0.0|
|Aaron Volpatti, LW†||17||0||1||1||-2||7||9:18||0||0||0||0||10||0.0|
|Dmitry Orlov, D||5||0||1||1||5||0||14:57||0||0||0||0||1||0.0|
|Cameron Schilling, D||1||0||0||0||-1||0||11:58||0||0||0||0||0||0.0|