Daydreaming, Part Two

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

Player Pos. GP G A PTS
Wayne Gretzky C 74 69 94 163
Paul Coffey D 80 31 69 100
Jari Kurri RW 64 41 49 90
Mark Messier 73 29 51 80
Glenn Anderson RW  80 33 31 64
Ken Linseman 72 14 39 53
Pat Hughes RW  77 21 22 43
Dave Hunter LW 80 17 21 38
Kevin Lowe D  80 3 33 36
Charlie Huddy 75 6 27 33
Totals 264 436 700

2009-10 Washington Capitals Top Ten (Adjusted) Scorers
(projected over an 82 game schedule)

Player Pos. GP G A PTS
Alex Ovechkin LW 70 58 63 121
Nicklas Backstrom C 82 36 60 96
Alexander Semin LW / RW
68 42 45 87
Mike Green D  79 20 63 83
Brooks Laich F 82 25 36 61
Tomas Fleischmann F 65 29 31 60
Brendan Morrison C 82 19 32 51
Mike Knuble
RW 63 27 23 50
Eric Fehr RW  65 24 23 47
Matt Bradley
Cult Hero 79 13 15 28
Totals 293 391 684

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.

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