Sittin' at the End of the (Capitals) Bar

Rob Carr

Odds and ends about the Washington Capitals from your friendly Peerless at the end of the bar.

It's a little known fact...

-- Alex Ovechkin has now faced the Detroit Red Wings 11 times in his career and recorded a point in every one of them (9-7-16), although he took his sweet time doing it on Sunday. His overtime goal to give the Caps a 6-5 win made the Caps 6-3-2 in those 11 games against Detroit (4-0-1 in their last five).

-- We were just reading a piece over there at Japers' Rink about...

Fearless: "Jasper's?"

Cheerless: "Juniper's?"

Fearless: "Jabberwocky!"

"Japers' Rink"...can we, guys? We were just reading a piece over there at Japers' Rink about how the Caps have yet to win a game this season when scoring fewer than three goals. Last night made it 0-19-5, 1-35-7 since the beginning of last season. By way of comparison, Bruce Boudreau was 28-69-20 in games the Caps scored two or fewer goals, including games decided in the shootout (173-19-20 in other games). Dale Hunter's partial 2011-2012 season went 7-21-2

-- So far in 2014 Michal Neuvirth has either been very, very good, or he has been very, very not-so-good. In six appearances he has an overall goals-against average of 2.80 and a save percentage of .917. However, in four games he had a save percentage of .933 or better, two others under .900.

-- It's still better than Braden Holtby. In seven appearances, four of them ended with save percentages under .900, and in one of the games in which he was over .900 he played only 42 minutes of a 4-1 loss to the New York Rangers after Philipp Grubauer allowed three goals on eight shots. Goaltending might not be the biggest problem on this team, but that's not to say it isn't a problem.

-- Only three players in the League have played in at least 50 games this season and recorded four or fewer penalty minutes: Tyler Seguin, Brian Flynn, and the Caps' Marcus Johansson. Not that we expect it to happen for Johansson, but since the 2004-2005 lockout, only nine players have appeared in at least 60 games and finished the season with four or fewer penalty minutes. Only five players have done that playing in more than 70 games over that period.

-- Only one player in the league is on a pace to finish the season with more than 45 goals. Yeah... you know who.

-- Alex Ovechkin is on pace to score 57 goals and record 28 assists. If that is where he finishes, he would be the first player to record more than 50 goals and fewer than 30 assists while playing in at least 75 games since the 1997-1998 season. The last player to do it? Washington's Peter Bondra (52-26-78).

-- And, while we're on the topic of current and former Caps, Ovechkin currently sits in a tie for 19th among active players in career points (793). With whom is he tied? Sergei Gonchar, former Caps defenseman currently playing with the Dallas Stars.

-- More on current and former Caps. Nicklas Backstrom is 41st among active players in career assists (348). Who is just in front of him? Former Cap Dainius Zubrus (352), now of the New Jersey Devils. He's gaining on you, big guy.

-- There appears to be a "sweet spot" with respect to how many shots on goal Ovechkin records and the Caps' win-loss record. When Ovechkin records three or fewer shots on goal, the Caps are 1-5-3 (including last night when he had three shots on goal). When recording seven or more, the Caps are 5-7-2. But when he is in the 4-6 shot range, the Caps are 17-9-4.

Call it the "Goldilocks Theory" of shooting.

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