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Sittin' at the End of the (Capitals) Bar

Peerless is back to his usual place at the end of the bar with odd facts and stats to shock and awe your fellow bar patrons.

Derek Leung

It's a little known fact...

-- January, not often known as a hotbed of action on the personnel front, has from time to time been a quite active period for the Caps. Did you know about these deals (source: Caps Media Guide)...

  • January 22, 1976 Caps acquired Gerry Meahan, Jean Lemieux, and Buffalo's 1st round pick in the 1976 Entry Draft (previously acquired, Gregg Carroll) from Atlanta for Bill Clement.
  • January 1, 1987 Caps acquired Bob Crawford, Kelly Miller and Mike Ridley from NY Rangers for Bob Carpenter and a 2nd round pick in the 1989 Entry Draft (Jason Prosofsky).
  • January 16, 1991 Caps acquired Al Iafrate from Toronto for Peter Zezel and Bob Rouse.
  • January 24, 1991 Caps acquired Paul Fenton and John Kordic from Toronto for a 5th round pick in the 1991 Entry Draft (Alexei Kuashov).
  • January 18, 1995 Caps acquired a 5th round pick (Benoit Gratton) in the 1995 Entry Draft from Ottawa for Don Beaupre.
  • January 18, 1995 Caps acquired Mark Tinordi and Rick Mrozik from Dallas for Kevin Hatcher.
  • January 23, 2004 Caps acquired Anson Carter from NY Rangers in exchange for Jaromir Jagr.

-- The Caps have the most efficient power play in the league in this respect. At 5-on-4 they score 10.88 goals per 60 minutes of 5-on-4 time. On the other hand, they have allowed 1.43 goals against per 60 minutes of 5-on-4 time, the third worst (that is to say, "most") goals allowed per 60 minutes of 5-on-4 time. The Caps still have the second best goal differential per 60 minutes at 5-on-4 (+9.45).

-- As for 5-on-3? Ugh. Washington is one of six teams yet to record a 5-on-3 power play goal this season. The others are Buffalo, Dallas, Calgary, Boston, and Los Angeles. This despite having the 11th highest 5-on-3 ice time. It is not as if this a new thing. Last season the Caps were 25th in efficiency at 5-on-3 (goals per 60 minutes)

-- As of this morning, no team in the Metropolitan Division has fewer wins in regulation and overtime than the Caps. When the New York Islanders beat the Toronto Maple Leafs, 5-3, last night they tied Washington with 12 ROW.

-- The Caps have the worst ten-game record among Metropolitan Division teams at the moment, the only one of the eight clubs with a record below .500 in standings points over their last ten games (3-4-3). They are losing ground against everyone.

-- When you have a penalty kill struggling like the Caps, you don't want to test it repeatedly. Only six teams have faced more shorthanded situations than the Caps through Tuesday's games.

-- A tale of two Metro defensemen. Mike Green appears to like the Metro, at least indirectly. He is a plus-5 in 15 games played against Metro Division teams, but a minus-16 in 24 games against teams from other divisions. John Carlson is on the other end of the spectrum. He is plus-7 in 26 games against teams outside the Metro, but minus-9 in 16 intra-divisional games.

-- When it comes to scoring, the Caps do not have anyone who can rightly be proclaimed a "road warrior." Nicklas Backstrom is tied for 27th in scoring in road games (18 points in 19 games). At home, though, Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin rank third (28 points) and fourth (27 points), respectively. Ovechkin has a wide lead in goals scored at home - 21 in 22 games compared to 15 in 19 games for St. Louis' Alexander Steen.

-- Tom Wilson ranks second in penalty minutes (85) and major penalties (nine) among rookies. Tampa Bay's Radko Gudas ranks first in penalty minutes (88), and Edmonton's Luke Gazdic ranks first in majors (ten).

-- If you were told that Connor Carrick, Michael Latta, and Aaron Volpatti were all top-ten in shooting percentage on the club, would you be surprised? OK, that's on a combined total of four goals on 26 shots. It does not explain Martin Erat, though, who has taken only 29 shots in 39 games and has scored on none of them. There are 106 forwards having dressed for games so far this season in the NHL without having scored a goal, and only seven of them have taken more shots without doing so than Erat.

-- On a happier note, John Carlson is the first Washington Capital to represent the club as a member of the United States Olympic ice hockey team since NHL players began representing America in the Winter Games in 1998. The last player in the Capitals' system to represent the United States in the Winter Games was Stephen Leach, a 1984 second-round draft pick of the Caps, who was on the roster of the 1988 U.S. Olympic ice hockey team.