Thursday, March 10, 2011

Lucky Number of the Night Last Night?

So if you were at the Caps Game last night or watched it "on the telly" and you are a Capitals fan, you're probably pretty smug and content this morning. I know I am. However I do one question on my mind - what was the lucky number last night? Was it 900, 600, 200, 6, 5, or 1? I've contemplated the preponderance of evidence on hand and concluded it was definitely 5. Sure some people are picking 6 because last night was the Capitals 6th straight win and the Caps clearly now have the longest in process winning streak in the NHL, and while last night Alexander Ovechkin notched the Sixth (6th) hundredth point of his short NHL career, there's nowhere near the preponderance of sixes occurring last night as there were fives. As for the other choices one (1) also had two occurrences - Braden Holtby's first NHL shutout and Marco Sturm's first point as a Washington Capital. There was only one occurrence of the number 900 BUT 900 points in an NHL career, the plateau that "new guy" Jason Arnott attained last evening - that's a big deal for sure. Same with 200 points, for a defenseman, as "new guy" Denis Wideman attained last evening as well. Make no bones about it all those other numbers denote notable accomplishments and are worthy of mention and even discussion to some degree. BUT last night the number 5 reigned supreme here's where it popped up:

A) Caps scored more than goals scored 5 or more goals for the first time in 10 games and have now scored five (5) or more goals a luck 13th time last night - okay I'm stretching - they scored 5 goals.

B) Five (5) Washington Capitals had notable nights and achieved career milestones last night: Alex Ovechkin (600+ points); Jason Arnott (900 points), Dennis Wideman (200 points), Marco Sturm (fist point as a Capital), and Braden Holtby (first career NHL shutout).

C) At the end of the game Braden Holtby completed his fifth straight perfect (scoreless) period since coming into the Tampa Bay game in relief of Michal Neuvirth.

D) Last night's win meant that for the month of March, the Capitals are now 5-0, it was the fifth win of the month.

E) During ongoing six (6) game winning this was the fifth (5th) game that both Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin each had at least one point. It was actually the sixth (6th) straight game that Ovechkin had a least one point - he's gotten 11 points (4 goals and 7 assists) during the past six games while Semin has 6 points (4 G, 2A) in those six (6) games - so on this particular point of fact, I'd say both the number 5 and the number 6 resonate equally, IMO. However if your counting, the number 5 has 5 instances of note while the number six only has three ...

A couple other final comment about last night's game: It seemed to me while I was watching the game from my usual seat in Section 103 and was confirmed today looking at the stats that pretty much every one of the Capitals had a good game. That said I was particularly impressed by the performances last evening of both Marcus Johansson and Brooks Laich. MoJo had a great game in 21 shifts he logged 18:44 TOI, 1 SOG, 1 Hit, 2 Takeaway, was +1, was 4 for 7 (57%) in the faceoff circle and had 1 point - an absolutely beautiful assist on one of Ovechkin's two goals during a 2 on 0 breakaway. Laich played Center last evening, and logged 16:44 TOI on 25 shifts, usually between Chimera and Fehr. During those 16:44, "Brooksie" put up a gaudy 15 for 21 (71%) win rate in the face-off circle, led the Capitals in hits with 5, had one blocked shot, 1 SOG, an assist and was +1 on the evening. Among defensemen, they all had good games. Jeff Schultz was the only defensemen that played less than 15:00 (he logged 13:33 on 19 shifts and finished the evening +2. Dennis Wideman, what can you say - led the team with 23:34 TOI on 24 shifts, finished the evening with an assist - his 200th point, was +1 and had three (3) hits and seven (7) blocked shots, the Caps had a total of 14 blocked shots, so if you are counting Wideman had 50% of them.

I'm actually not into numerology, though I do tend to track a team to that "100 point season, threshold this time of year, especially if they are "my team." As far as that particular number goes, the Caps are now on pace for a 103+ point season. That would be the Capitals third 100+ point season in a row. That's a good thing since it looks like unlike last season when for the first time since the "lock-out" it took 88 points to make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference, it will take at least 92, and even as many as 94 points to make the playoffs in the NHL's Eastern Conference and it wouldn't surprise me to see it take 96 points to make the playoffs in the Western Conference.

Okay so next up are the Carolina Hurricanes, tomorrow night here at home at Verizon Center. LETS GO CAPS!!!

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