That one time the Caps went to the shootout (Photo: Dave Reginek)
Straight up: The Capitals have had an easy schedule so far. Granted, they haven’t played the Sabres yet, but their competition hasn’t been so tough through 20 games. The Caps have taken points in 7 of their last 10 and are poised to take the Metropolitan Division lead on Sunday night– but it won’t be easy.
The upcoming week will be a tough one: three strong possession teams with tons of talent. St. Louis has a player on a ludicrous hot streak, Pittsburgh has Crosby, and Montreal as a franchise is so deep inside Washington’s head they could make Pavel Chekov steal the Genesis Device for them.
It’s great that the Caps got points where they could, but here comes the gauntlet.
These are the numbers as of noon on Sunday, November 17th. My sample doesn’t include any power play or penalty kill situations– just 5 on 5 play in close games. That eliminates the effects of blowouts and comebacks and lets us know how games get to be blowouts in the first place. Stats of note are highlighted in a cutesy pink and discussed below.
Fehr has a controlled entry to gain the offensive zone, keeps the puck away from two players, and hits up Backstrom (via Erat) for the game’s first goal.
Fehr wins a battle along the boards to– again– quickly hit up Backstrom, who has a clear shooting lane.
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