Yea, we all know the Caps history.
We use the appearance of their star player Alex Ovechkin in 2005 as a starting milestone since many of our friends think the team’s success rests on the shoulders of Ovi. So, here’s where they stand:
They have made it to round 3 conference finals, oh never…
They have made it to round 2 four times, including this season.
They have made it to round 1 three times, including this season.
They totally missed the playoffs in the 2005/06, 2006/07, or 2013/14.
They haven’t made it to the Stanley Cup Final since the 1997/98; they have made it to the playoffs 26 times since 1974
We understand the cautious optimism that borders on a lack of expectation. However, we have all said, over and over, that THIS Capitals team is different. We believe this to be true and while we are on the cautiously optimistic side of the fence, we are holding our breath with everyone.
This team has real depth. We have Stanley Cup winners who know what it takes to keep coming back. In the course of six games, all but seven of the active roster players recorded a point, including goaltender Braden Holtby. One of those without a point was Brooks Orpik who was out for four games. Every player, with the exception of Mike Weber had at least one shot on goal during the series. Eight players scored at least one goal.
How do the Caps compare with the other teams that moved forward to round two? We find that for many of the teams more than nine players scored goals in Round 1. For all but three teams, every player has a shot on goal. On average, only five players on a team did not record a point. In the grand scheme of things, we are slightly under-performing when compared against the other league leaders. Slightly.
As the team starts round two against the Pens on Thursday we think the Caps will need to increase their shots across the board. Every player will need to be more intentional about creating opportunities in front of the net. And against the Pens – stay out of the box and watch your defense. As Coach Trotz said today, it will take the entire team.
We think THIS team is ready to play like a team. We think they are fully invested in getting to the final round, one game at a time. And we plan to be along for the ride!!