Monday, April 8, 2013

A Milestone Has Been Reached ... Now It's Time To Continue Forward ANd NOT Look Back

Well, the comeback from the disastrous start of the 2013 lockout shortened season is now complete thanks to a 4-2 regulation win over Tampa Bay tonight at Verizon Center and a 4-3 regulation win over the Panthers in Sunrise last night. The Capitals are now 1 1/2 games ahead of the Winnipeg Jets for the Division lead in the Southeast.  Additionally if the Caps were not in third by way of the seeding, they'd now be in eighth place and still be a playoff team with eight games left in their regular season.  Additionally, the Capitals first line of Marcus Johannson, Nicklas Backstrom, and Alex Ovechkin are basically on fire; and over the past ten games the Capitals are 8-1-1, which means along with the San Jose Sharks, Chicago Blackhawks, and the Pittsburgh Penguins they are the hottest teams in the NHL right now. Oh and did I mention that Ovechkin is now tied for the league lead in goals with 25 goals in 39 games played - which if this were an 82 game season would mean he's on pace for a 52 goal season. So now it's clear to me the Caps are now likely to make the playoffs.
I'm a Caps fan and the Caps have now achieved something I've been pulling for since the Caps went 1-5-1 for the month of January to start the season. They've regained the SE Division lead. The Capitals overall record is over 0.500; as are BOTH their home and away records (Home: 10-8-0, Away: 10-9-2). Their number one goaltender - that would be 23 year old Braden Holtby is 17-11-1 with a Save % of 0.914; a GAA of 2.71; and 4 shutouts. They have a backup goaltender (25 year old Michal Neuvirth) that has a SV% of 0.902 and a GAA of 2.89.  The Capitals team defense has now allowed 110 goals against in 39 games played or a team average GAA of just 2.82 which is 8th best in the Eastern Conference and 19th best in the League.  Their goal differential of +7 is 11th best in the league as well. But what's it all mean?  Will the Capitals finally "go deep" ... into the Stanley Cup Playoffs that is?  Can they "seal the deal"?

The truth is I have no idea but I'm betting that I'm not the only Capitals fan who can wait to see how this whole roller coaster ride plays out.  The truth is that the way the Capitals are playing right now, they are as good as any team in the NHL and betting against them should not be done lightly.  Next up, the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre on Tuesday Evening.


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