Since drafting Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom, the Capitals have built an entire team around its superstar forwards. As they go, so go the Caps. The 2016 playoffs showed, however, that a strong supporting cast is just as important in a Stanley Cup run than the top playmakers. With that in mind, Wednesday's result was a very good sign for the Caps.
In a 5-3 win over the Colorado Avalanche, five differently players scored for Washington. None of those five players were Ovechkin or Backstrom. In fact, both Ovechkin and Backstrom were held without a single point in the win.
How rare is that? Washington has scored five or more goals in 20 games this season and either Backstrom or Ovechkin had at least one point in every one of them until Wednesday. The last time the Caps scored five or more goals in a game and Ovechkin and Backstrom were held without a point was April 23, 2015 in a 5-1 playoff win over the New York Islanders. The last time it happened in the regular season was on Dec. 18, 2014 in a 5-4 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Getting increased scoring depth was a major focus for the Caps heading into the 2016-17 season after seeing the Pittsburgh Penguins' depth carry them to a Stanley Cup in 2016. With just six games left to go in the regular season, the Caps are showing they have the depth to make a similar run in 2017.
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It was perhaps closer than many expected, but the Caps escaped Colorado on Wednesday with the 5-3 win over the Avalanche.
Here’s a recap of the three bold predictions for the game.
1. Alex Ovechkin will remain the team’s goal scoring leader – Correct
I predicted this with the expectation that Ovechkin would at least match whatever Oshie was able to do on Wednesday if not surpass. As it turns out, neither player scored. So I was correct because Ovechkin still leads the team with 33 goals, but not for the reason I expected because I thought Ovechkin would be able to get at least a goal.
2. Dmitry Orlov will take a penalty – Correct
Another prediction in which I was right, but not for the reason I predicted. Orlov’s hit on Matt Duchene seemed all but forgotten as Colorado did nothing in response. Duchene himself was largely invisible for the game with no points and no shot attempts despite 18:26 of ice time. Orlov’s penalty came in the second period on a simple tripping play.
3. Nicklas Backstrom will have a multipoint night – Wrong
The Caps scored five goals on Wednesday and Backstrom walked away without a single point. That’s not something you will see from the Caps too often.
2017 Results: I may have backed my way into both of my correct predictions, but hey, it still counts and I need all the help I can get.
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