With an 11-5-2 record, the Washington Capitals are off to another good start. They’re not amassing standings points at quite the same torrid pace as last year’s Presidents’ Trophy outing, but they’re still a damn fine hockey team.
Around this time last year, I wrote an article with the headline, “These Capitals are The Team.” What I should have said is “These Capitals are The Team that will certainly disappoint you in the playoffs once again.” That would’ve been a wordy headline, but it would have articulated something we’ve seen with the Trotz Caps every year: they are faders.
Hi, my name is Peter, and I’ll be your host for this biweekly snapshot.
Here’s how the Caps have started under Barry Trotz, and how they’ve finished. This is score-adjusted possession according to the great puckon.net:
|Season||First 20 Games||Remainder of Season|
Note: Only 18 games for the most recent season.
The Caps have looked like an elite, contending, top-5 team at the start of each of the last three seasons. But both the 2014-15 and 2015-16 teams slipped as the season wore on, becoming merely good instead of great. These weren’t slow declines, but rather periods of brilliance punctuated by mediocrity. Will the 2016-17 Caps do the same? I suspect so.
Now the numbers.
Backstrom isn't attempting more, but more of his attempts have been on target. pic.twitter.com/Tspuhuz7A2
— Good Tweet Pete 🌮 (@peterhassett) November 20, 2016
Headline photo: Patrick Smith
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