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For the Washington Capitals It Is All About "Pace"

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It has been quite a season for the Washington Capitals so far, and the team and a number of individuals are on a pace to set franchise or career bests.

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The Washington Capitals have set and maintained a furious pace this season, both as a team and among individuals. How so? Well, the Caps are on a pace for…

Team

  • Wins: 59 (would tie the 1977-1978 Montreal Canadiens for third-most in league history)
  • Points: 124 (only four teams in NHL history would have finished a season with more)
  • 50-win seasons: 3 (since 2005-2006, the only (likely) Eastern Conference franchise over those years with that many 50-win seasons – Detroit and San Jose did it four times in the Western Conference)
  • 15-goal scorers: 8 (when Andre Burakovsky gets his next goal, he will be the eighth player with 15 or more goals this season, tying the 2009-2010 team for most since the 2004-2005 lockout)

Individuals

  • Braden Holtby: 50 wins (an NHL record for goaltenders, if he both appears in the last 13 games and wins at the same pace he has over the team’s first 69 games)
  • Alex Ovechkin: 50 (his current pace for goals, which would give him his seventh career 50-goal season and put him third on the all-time list of 50-goal seasons, behind Wayne Gretzky and Mike Bossy, each with nine)
  • Evgeny Kuznetsov: 59 (his current pace for assists, which would put him in a tie for 12th in franchise history for assists in a season and one of only four to do it under the age of 24)
  • Nicklas Backstrom: 54 assists (would be his sixth 50-assist season since he came into the league in 2007-2008, tying him with Henrik Sedin and Joe Thornton for most 50-assist seasons over that span)

Career best pace for goals (players already with career highs marked by an asterisk):

  • T.J. Oshie: 25 goals (21 in 2013-2014)
  • Evgeny Kuznetsov: 24 goals*
  • Jason Chimera: 20 goals (ties 2011-2012 season with Washington)
  • Andre Burakovsky: 17 goals*
  • Dmitry Orlov: 10 goals*
  • Tom Wilson: 7 goals*
  • Karl Alzner: 5 goals (would tie last year’s total)
  • Brooks Orpik: 4 goals (would top the two he had in five different seasons, not to mention getting his first regular season game-winning goal this year)*
  • Michael Latta: 4 goals*
  • Nate Schmidt: 2 goals (would tie the pair he had in his rookie season of 2013-2014)
  • Taylor Chorney: 1 goal (ties his 2010-2011 year)

Career best pace for assists (players already with career highs marked by an asterisk):

  • Kuznetsov: 59 (26 last season)*
  • Burakovsky: 24 (13 last season)*
  • Orlov: 21 (16 in his rookie season in 2011-2012)*
  • Wilson: 17 (13 last season)*
  • Alzner: 19 (16 set in three different seasons, most recently last year)
  • Schmidt: 16 (4 set in his rookie season in 2013-2014)*
  • Chorney: 6 (3 set twice, most recently with Edmonton in 2010-2011)*
  • Stanislav Galiev: 5 (his three assists this year are the only career assists he has)*
  • Aaron Ness: 2 (already tied his career best, even if he does not dress again)

Plus-Minus:

  • Kuznetsov: plus-36 (plus-10 last season)*
  • Justin Williams: plus-24 (plus-15 set twice, most recently in 2012-2013 with Los Angeles)*
  • Alzner: plus-18 (plus-14 set twice, most recently last season)*
  • Schmidt: plus-17 (plus-4 set in his rookie season in 2013-2014)*
  • Marcus Johansson: plus-16 (plus-6 set last season)*
  • Orlov: plus-14 (plus-5 set in 2012-2013)*
  • Chorney: plus-11 (minus-1 set twice, most recently last season with Pittsburgh)*
  • Ness: plus-4 (minus-13 with the New York Islanders in 2013-2014)*
  • Wilson: plus-2 (plus-1 set in his rookie season in 2013-2014)*

These are just some of the examples of what sort of season the Capitals are putting together, individually and as a group. Clearly, this has been a "team" effort.