Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Washington Capitals: Three Games In and Things to Impress Your Friends With -- Second Round Edition

Washington Capitals fans are perhaps breathing a sigh of relief this morning after last night's thrilling almost-last-minute game winning goal to take a 2-1 lead in games against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Round 2 of the Stanley Cup playoffs.  And like we did in the first round, here are ten odd facts about this round so far to amuse and amaze you...
  • Eight different Capitals have goals through three games.  Alex Ovechkin has three goals, seven others have one apiece.
  • Secondary scoring spells success.  Looking at those other goal scorers, seeing the names Brett Connolly, Chandler Stephenson, Jakub Vrana, and Matt Niskanen sprinkled among them is a big reason the Caps have a 2-1 lead in the series.
  • Ovechkin’s three goals in this series gives him eight in nine postseason games.  He has not had more than five in any previous postseason since he had 11 in 14 games in 2009.
  • Tom Wilson gets a lot of ink (as in “the Pacific Ocean has a lot of water”) for his edgy play, but he leads the team in assists in this series (four).  “Four” seems to be the lucky number here for Wilson.  In addition to the four assists, there are the four penalty minutes and the four shots on goal, not to mention his being plus-4, best on the team.
  • John Carlson leads the team in shots on goal (12) in the second round.  Didn’t see that one coming.  At the other end, Jay Beagle is the only skater without a shot on goal.
  • Back to Wilson…he is tied for the league lead in hits in the second round of the playoffs (20, with William Carrier and Timo Meier).  Bet you’re shocked to learn that.
  • Nicklas Backstrom has one goal in this series.  His next one will tie Peter Bondra for second place all-time in Caps playoff goal scoring (30).
  • Of the six teams to have played three games in this round (Boston and Tampa Bay have two games completed in their series as of Wednesday morning), the Caps have allowed the fewest shots on goal (80). By the same token they have the second fewest number of shots on goal themselves (88).
  • Of those six teams with three games completed in this round, the Caps have spent the least amount of time on the power play (12:39) but are still 2-for-8 in efficiency.
  • Brooks Orpik is the only player so far in the second round with at least 10 hits (11)  and at least 10 blocked shots (10).
Just keep in mind that two wins is only half-way to four.  There is much hockey to be played.  Hopefully only two more games against this opponent. 

Photo: Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images