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Washington Capitals: Ten Facts to Impress Your Friends

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The Peerless starts your week with the obscure and the fascinating among ten facts to impress your friends at the water cooler.

Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Here are ten random nuggets you can use to impress your hockey and non-hockey fans alike around the water cooler to start the week...

  • When Jay Beagle scored two goals last week it gave him four goals for the season.  That, at the moment, makes it three times in the last four seasons Beagle had a season of four goals.  He did it in 41 games in 2011-2012, 62 games last season, and 21 games so far this season.  Call it consistency of an odd sort.
  • Through 26 games the Caps have been over 50 percent, Corsi-for at 5-on-5, in 14 contests.  Only ten times in those 14 games did they outscore opponents at 5-on-5, and their record is 5-7-2 in those 14 contests.
  • The Caps have had trouble putting together long winning streaks this season, but here might be a signal of things to come.  The Caps have been better than 50 percent Corsi-for at 5-on-5 in four of their last five games with an aggregate Corsi-for percentage of 51.0 (all possession numbers here and elsewhere from war-on-ice.com).
  • OK, we might want to hold up on that for a moment.  In 26 games the Caps have been over 50 percent Corsi-for at 5-on-5 13 times in game-tied situations with an aggregate over all 26 games of 51.61 percent.  That suggests that when the Caps have been good in such game situations, they have been very good. In fact, the Caps have been over 55 percent in 12 games.  They are 6-4-2 in those 12 games.
  • Alex Ovechkin recorded a single shot on goal in two of his last three games.  That makes three times this season he was held to one shot on goal.  It equals his entire total of games with one shot on goal from last season in 78 games.
  • Troy Brouwer has taken 127 faceoffs and won 59.1 percent of them. If he qualified, he would rank third among NHL players in faceoff winning percentage, behind Montreal's Manny Malhotra (61.8 percent) and Arizona's Martin Hanzal (59.8 percent). Brouwer is not alone among the Caps in the "not qualifying" department in faceoff winning percentage rankings. Nicklas Backstrom is the only Cap who does qualify (he is 19th at 54.4 percent). He has taken 531 of the 1,570 draws taken by the club so far.
  • From the "dirty jobs" file... Maybe they are arbitrary stats, but no player in the league has a higher total of hits-plus-blocked shots than Brooks Orpik (174 on 99 hits and 75 blocked shots).  Matt Martin of the New York Islanders is second (139 combined hits and blocked shots).  For what it's worth, Alex Ovechkin is second on the Caps and 30th in the league (98 combined hits and blocked shots).
  • In his first 16 games this season, Marcus Johansson had 41 shots on goal, eight goals, and was held without a shot on goal only twice.  In his last ten games, Johansson has 11 shots on goal, one goal, and he has been held without a shot on goal five times.  Did it matter?  Maybe, maybe not.  The Caps were 7-6-3 in their first 16 games; they are 5-4-1 in their last ten contests.
  • Karl Alzner scored his first goal on Saturday night after 42 games without one.  Starting with the 2010-2011 season, Alzner is third among Capitals defensemen in shots on goal (272), behind only Mike Green (491) and John Carlson (664).  The fact that he has played in 320 of 320 games over that span probably has something to do with that.
  • Special teams have been special to the Caps in one respect - occurrence.  Only Nashville has had fewer special teams situations (power play opportunities plus shorthanded situations faced: 147) than Washington (148).