First, let me reiterate that, still,"we haven't won anything yet." We, rather, the Washington Capitals, haven't. Not even the 2009-10 Southeast Division crown. (Which would be the third consecutive division title for the club. Oh, were the Caps denizens of a competitive division again.) A usurping of the "NASCAR Division" throne by Florida or Atlanta is still mathematically possible. Whatever.
The comparison of Washington's monoliths of offense this season to the Edmonton Oilers of the early 1980's, as suggested in October, remains valid. Especially now that the team has earned a 9-1 record over its last ten and averaged 5.3 goals per game during that span. Most recently, Butch Goring made a favorable comparison of the two during the MSG Plus broadcast of Tuesday's game on the Island. And he would be one to know -- the legendary pivot for the dynastic Islanders of that same period, that passed the torch on to Wayne Gretzky's bunch in the City of Champions.
Already, the Caps are on a 118 point pace, have three legitimate scoring lines, and nine players with double digit goal totals with 29 games to go. And they are the only NHL team to date which has scored over 200 goals, an average of 3.83 per game. That G/G pace would definitively make this team's offense the most prolific one since the lockout.
So I'm going to revisit our earlier post on the subject and assess just how close this team is to what we might call the gold standard of offensive dominance.
Again, we'll compare the "adjusted stats" of the top ten scorers of the current crop of Caps (using on-pace 2009-10 season figures) and those of the top ten point getters on the '83-'84 Oilers (the team that won the first of the four Oilers' championships during that decade). As before, adjusted stats seek to "account for different schedule lengths, roster sizes, and scoring environments."
1983-84 Edmonton Oilers Top Ten (Adjusted) Scorers
(projected over an 82 game schedule)
|Alexander Semin||LW / RW
The numbers speak for themselves.
Look, I'm not trying to say that the Cup is ours without a fight. As San Jose Sharks fans know all too well (and as we always say here), Regular Season Means [Franceschetti]. But it's worth stopping to reflect, amidst all the individual performances, highlights, and box scores, what an incredible season it is that we are watching unfold. The 35th season of the franchise is, up to this point, it's best ever, as great as our reasonably optimistic hopes could foresee.
And the best, dare we say, is still yet to come.