The Capital's Offense: Best We've Seen Post-Lockout?

With a touchdown and a successful two-point conversion in Atlanta on Saturday night, the Washington Capitals' offense has jumped out to a huge lead in goals per game among the League's thirty teams. How huge? Heading into Tuesday night's action, the Caps are scoring more than 12% more goals per game than their closest competition in that metric (Chicago), and 30% more than the League average. Oh, and their top top two goal scorers (by last year's totals) have each missed approximately one-fifth of the season.

But where does this team compare to the most prolific offenses the League has seen since the lockout (or, as it should be called, "The Ovechkin Era")? Let's take a look at the only teams since the start of the 2005-06 season to top 3.5 goals per game (click on team name for a closer look at that squad):

Team Goals/Game % Above Avg. PP % % of G on PP
2005-06 Ottawa Senators 3.8 25.6 20.8 32.7
2005-06 Detroit Red Wings 3.67 21.3 22.1 33.9
2006-07 Buffalo Sabres 3.63 26.1 17.4 23.5
2009-10 Washington Capitals 3.61 30.4 23.8 25.8
2008-09 Detroit Red Wings 3.52 23.6 25.5 31.1

So the Caps' offensive production so far this season relative to the League average is better than any of the other teams on the list and they've done less of it on the power play than all but the '06-'07 Sabres. And what about depth of scoring? Here are the same teams:

Team 30-Goal Scorers
20-Goal Scorers
10-Goal Scorers 40-Point Scorers
2005-06 Ottawa Senators 2 6 13 8
2005-06 Detroit Red Wings 2 8 12 9
2006-07 Buffalo Sabres 4 6 9 8
2009-10 Washington Capitals 4* 8* 12* 10*
2008-09 Detroit Red Wings 4 5 11 11

* Projected based on current scoring rates for players on the current roster playing all 38 remaining games (and yes, Jason Chimera counts). In case you're wondering, the projected 30-goal guys are Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, Nicklas Backstrom and Tomas Fleischmann.

Given how much the Caps are scoring relative to the rest of the League and the depth of that scoring, it's easy to argue that the Caps are the League's most prolific post-lockout offense. Certainly the Caps compare favorably to these other four squads. Of course, not one of the four won the Cup... so this is where we hope the comparisons end.

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