A few notes on a recap/preview-less Monday:
- In the entire history of the Washington Capitals organization, the team has only used two first round draft picks on goalies. The first of those netminders (Olie Kolzig) went on to win 301 games for the franchise; the other (Simeon Varlamov) made his successful NHL debut on Saturday night in Montreal (therefore, Varlamov will win 300 games for the Caps).
- On Saturday, Varlamov (20.4 years old) became the youngest Russian-born goalie to ever start a game in the NHL, and the second-youngest Cap goalie ever. The youngest (Kolzig - 19.5 years old at his debut) and the third-youngest (Jim Carey at 20.8) in franchise history each went on to win the Vezina Trophy (therefore, Varlamov will win the Vezina for the Caps).
- The Caps are 8-0-0 in the last eight games Alex Semin has played, and have outscored opponents 28-10 in those games, allowing one goal six times and two goals twice. They're 13-4-2 on the season with Semin in the lineup.
- Impressive as that last stat is, Brent Johnson is my team MVP thus far, by a hair. Who've you got?
- The Caps have been outshot at even strength in each of their last three games, but have won all three. That's an awfully tough way to win games, unless your special teams are performing at an otherworldly level. Speaking of which...
- The Caps power play has been 37.9% efficient (11-for-29) over its last seven games and its penalty kill hasn't allowed a goal in five games and has killed 89.7% (35 of 39) of all shorthanded opportunities over the last nine games.
- You can say what you want about the Caps' "luck" in playing in a weak division, but they're 9-1-3 against the non-Southeast teams in the Eastern Conference.
Elsewhere 'Round the Rinks:
Tuvanhillbilly has Varlamov's post game interview translated (talk about an indispensible resource).... Alex Ovechkin on whether or not he's playing through pain: "Well, yes, my stomach hurts. Now I need to go to the rest room and it will be gone." TMI.... Speaking of AO, I wonder if he and Semin taught Feds or Kozzy the handshake.... Assertion: AHL success leads to NHL success. Case in point, well, you can guess.... Stefan Della Rovere continues to impress as he tries to make the Canadian World Juniors team.... Former Cap Darcy Verot is a cult hero in the KHL, and Chris Simon is, well, over there too.... Happy 42nd Birthday to former Cap (and Cap of the Day) Bill Ranford.