Until December 22, Washington led the NHL with 3.54 goals per game and finished eighth with 2.76 goals against per game, 10th in power play at 21.8% and second in the penalty spot with 85.7%. After December 22, he finished eighth with 3.28 goals per game, 29th with 3.44 goals against per game, 24th in power play at 17.0 percent and 19th on penalties with 78.7 percent.
” Certainly, [the way we played] after the start of the season and training camp will be a point of reference for us because of the way we got out of training camp and started the year, “said coach Todd Reirden. “I really liked a lot of the things our team showed and how we played, and that will be the key to getting back to it as soon as possible once we are up and running again. ”
Left wing Alex Ovechkin was again one of the Capitals’ most regular players and tied David Pastrnak Boston Bruins for NHL head with 48 goals. John Carlson led NHL defensemen with a career high of 75 points in the NHL (15 goals, 60 assists).
Player to watch
Ilya Kovalchuk was acquired in a Montreal Canadiens trade on February 23 to provide a depth of scoring. The forward, who has scored 443 goals in 926 regular season games in 13 NHL seasons, is not the best scorer he was before leaving the NHL in 2013 and playing five seasons in the Hockey League Kontinental, but the 37-year-old can contribute from the third row (or more) and the second power play unit. Kovalchuk scored four points (one goal, three assists) in seven games after the trade and is looking to win the Stanley Cup for the first time.
Video: WSH @ NYR: Kovalchuk films a blistering blister at home
The biggest question
Can the Capitals defend well enough? Although goalkeeper Braden Holtby (25-14-6, worst career average of 3.19 NHL goals and save percentage of .897) contributed to Washington’s troubles, 30-year-old was solid in 11 final starts (5-3-2, 2.75 GAA, .911 except percentage) before the NHL stopped the season on March 12 due to concerns about the coronavirus. But the defensive problems continued. The Defender’s Acquisition Brenden Dillon in a San Jose Sharks trade on February 18 should help, but the Capitals must resume commitment to the team defense that helped them win the Stanley Cup in 2018.
No injuries to report.
Beginner Martin Fehervary has played six NHL games this season (assists, minus-2, 3:59 p.m. ice time) and the Capitals consider him a future top four defenseman, but the 20-year-old may have a chance to play if others are struggling. Second round pick (# 46) in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, Fehervary played most of his first season in North America for Hershey in the American Hockey League, scoring 14 points (four goals, 10 assists) in 56 games.
Tell the statistic
Since Ovechkin’s first Stanley Cup qualifiers in 2008, he has led the NHL with 65 goals in 128 postseason games and goals per game at 0.51 (minimum 50 games). Ovechkin is tied for eighth in NHL history in goals per playoff (minimum 100 games).
Video: WSH @ BUF: Ovechkin dekes and short-side wrister nets
They said it
“I feel like we are as likely as anyone to win a Cup. It’s a bigger incentive and a reason for us to want to play again. This window won’t last forever, so you still want to play because of it. “- centre Lars Eller
Alex Ovechkin – Evgeny Kuznetsov – Tom Wilson
Jakub Vrana – Nicklas Backstrom – TJ Oshie
Carl Hagelin – Lars Eller – Ilya Kovalchuk
Richard panics – Nic Dowd – Garnet Hathaway
Michal Kempny – John Carlson
Brenden Dillon – Dmitry Orlov
Jonas Siegenthaler – Nick Jensen