Since New Year’s Eve, the Capitals have been scoring goals at a ridiculous rate. In fact, they’ve scored more goals—54 in 11 games—than any other team in that timeframe.
And it’s not really all that close.
- Since the outburst began with a 6-2 over New Jersey on Dec. 31, the Caps have scored five or more goals eight times in 11 contests.
- After Thursday’s 7-3 win in St. Louis, they’ve scored five or more goals in five straight games for the first time since February 2010.
- They’ve chased four goalies from the opposing net: Columbus’ Sergei Bobrovsky; Chicago’s Corey Crawford; Philly’s Steve Mason; and St. Louis’ Jake Allen (twice).
- Of the 54 goals, only seven have come on the power play.
- Eighteen different players have scored. (Defensive defenseman Brooks Orpik needs to get with the program.)
- During this prolific 11-game run, Justin Williams leads all Caps in with eight goals. Meanwhile, T.J. Oshie is second with six goals and Brett Connolly and Alex Ovechkin are tied for third with five.
- The Caps are now averaging 3.20 goals per game, up from the 3.02 they scored a year ago.
Over the first two-plus months of the season, offense was hard to come by for the Caps, who hovered around mid-pack in goals per game. These days, however, it seems almost every shot is finding the back of the net—and they couldn’t be enjoying it more.
“It’s always fun to score and see that a lot of different guys scored, too,” Marcus Johansson told reporters at Scottrade Center, where he recorded goal No. 15 on the season. “It’s good for the team and good for the confidence.”
The Capitals have also scored the first goal in each of the last nine games.
“It’s hard to score in this league, but it’s a lot easier and it’s a lot less draining when you score first,” Coach Barry Trotz said. “You’re not chasing the game. There’s a lot more demand on every detail when you’re chasing the game because if you give up another one, it’s a bigger hole.”
Williams is as a hot as anyone in the league right now, but he still felt the need to issue a bit of warning to his teammates: Just because the goals are coming easily (and in big bunches) doesn’t mean they can count on it every night. They've still got to remain committed to the details that vaulted them to the top of the NHL standings.
“It’s actually kinda strange now that everything seems to be going in,” he said. “I think internally you have to recognize the process and not get carried away with [the fact] that we’re scoring five, six, seven goals a night. That’s not going to last. You ride the highs [but] we need to understand reality.”
MORE CAPITALS: Caps chase Jake Allen...twice
Here are five plays or moments from the Washington Wizards' 113-110 win over the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Thursday night that are worth revisiting...
1. This first highlight was no precursor whatsoever to the game Carmelo Anthony was about to have, because he went off for a game-high 34 points, including a Knicks-record 23 points in the third quarter.
But this one was a play he would like to forget. Melo had a wide open chipshot in the first quarter and completely airballed it:
Ummmm... don't think Melo came ready to play. 😧 pic.twitter.com/QK1NYDCr98— CSN Wizards (@CSNWizards) January 20, 2017
2. John Wall led the Wizards with 29 points, 13 assists and three steals. Two of his points came on this nice left-handed slam in the first half:
3. Wall was just getting warmed up there. In this highlight he blows past Ron Baker and finishes for two:
OMG John Wall 😳 pic.twitter.com/BMRA1UP4yM— CSN Wizards (@CSNWizards) January 20, 2017
4. Kristaps Porzingis returned for the Knicks after missing four straight games with a sore left Achilles'. It wasn't enough to lead New York to a win, but he did have this ridiculous putback dunk:
PORZINGAWD. pic.twitter.com/tQoDzci0q7— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 20, 2017
5. That dunk was nice, but this one sealed the victory for the Wizards. Here is Wall getting the rebound and taking it all the way for two with just :13 seconds left. Did he double-dribble? Who cares? The refs didn't catch it: