Here’s a by-the-numbers look back at the Capitals’ dominant first half of the season, which featured individual and franchise records, milestones and a lot more winning than losing.
35 wins through 47 games, something only nine other teams in NHL history have accomplished. Five of the previous nine teams to do it went on to win the Stanley Cup. Washington’s previous record for most wins through 47 games was 30 in 2008-09.
74 points through 47 games, putting Washington on pace for a team-record 129 points. That would be the most by a team since the 1995-96 Red Wings finished with 131 points. Washington has four more points than Western Conference-leading Chicago in six fewer games played. As Dan Steinberg noted, the Capitals could lose their next 22 games and still be equal to the pace of the 2013-14 team, which finished 38-30-14. That’s nuts.
+54 goal differential for Washington, the best in the league. The next best?
Chicago’s Dallas’s plus-29.
1.09 goals per game, the Capitals’ adjusted scoring margin, which takes into account average goal differential and strength of schedule. Via my friend Neil Greenberg, that’s almost double the league’s next best team.
26.8 percent of power plays on which the Capitals have scored, best in the league. Washington’s penalty kill hasn’t been bad, either. The Caps rank fourth on the PK at 84.7 percent.
503 career goals for Alex Ovechkin, who tallied his 500th in a 7-1 rout of Ottawa on Jan. 10. Ovechkin’s 28 goals this season rank second in the league behind Patrick Kane’s 30.
29 assists for Nicklas Backstrom, who led the NHL in that department last season and will make his first career all-star game appearance this weekend.
49 points for Evgeny Kuznetsov, who leads the Capitals in scoring with 34 assists and 15 goals. Kuznetsov, who will replace Ovechkin in the all-star game, leads the NHL in primary assists (29) and multi-assist games (10).
23 years since Kuznetsov was born. Add one to get 24, his NHL-leading plus/minus.
423 consecutive games played for Karl Alzner, who set the new franchise record on Wednesday.
1 game in 13 days for the Capitals on account of Snowzilla, which led to the postponement of two home games, and the all-star break.
30 wins for Braden Holtby, who leads the league in that category. Holtby boasts a .929 save percentage and 2.07 goals against average.
15 wins in 15 games the Capitals have led after the first period. That’s a lot of free McMuffins.
25 coaches (out of 27 who responded to TSN’s all-star break poll) who picked the Capitals to reach the Stanley Cup Final. Sixteen of those coaches picked Washington to win it all.
0 bearing that talking about the Capitals as Stanley Cup favorites, or other people picking the Capitals to win the Stanley Cup, has on Capitals’ ability to perform in the playoffs. It’s okay to get excited.