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The Morning Narrative: Mister MoJo Risin’, One Last Push and Comeback Caps

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Three things we’re talking about this morning when we’re talking about the Caps

Photo by Kevin Sousa/NHLI via Getty Images

1. Dale Hunter. John Druce. Brian Bellows. Joe Juneau. Joel Ward.

Click on any of those names to watch the overtime goals those guys scored to advance in their respective playoffs. Now add another name to the list: Marcus Johansson:

Per Elias:

And the way that line had played throughout the series, you might have had a feeling they were going to be on the ice for last night’s overtime goal.Per Corsica, the Caps’ second line registered the third-most five-on-five scoring chances-for (SCF)... and the second-most scoring chances-against (SCA), and no trio attempted more shots at fives (the Caps’ top line was second):

(And, yes, you might notice a couple of more lines of interest there, from this past round and the next.)

It’s no wonder that Johansson was confident enough to call his shot:

Oh, and that goal was a perfect example of why we always say that while specific, individual face offs are hugely impactful, the importance of face off win percentage (and margins between “great” and “awful” draw-men) tends to be greatly exaggerated - Brian Boyle won 62 percent of his draws in the series, Evgeny Kuznetsov just 47 percent. How’d that turn out?

No matter what happens the rest of the way, that goal is forever, and one Caps fans will remember for decades... just like the quintet at the top of this post.

2. With the game scoreless after two periods, the game was yet again up for grabs heading down the stretch. But unlike their third-period struggles earlier in the series, the Caps got better when they most needed to, overcame an unlucky bounce, and carried the play into - and through - overtime.

Per Natural Stat Trick, the Caps out-attempted the Leafs 32-20 (61.5%) at even-strength after the 40-minute mark and completely dominated Toronto in overtime, out-attempting them 10-5, out-shooting them 5-1 and earning all four of the frames scoring chances. Here’s how that looked, graphically:

Put rather succinctly...


3. Not only did the Caps come back in the third period last night, and not only did they come back in the series after falling behind two-games-to-one, but the Caps came back every time the Leafs had a lead in the series:

Obviously the Caps didn’t win all of those games (and blew leads of their own). But if you’re looking to count this Caps team out, you do so at your own peril. As noted regarding last night’s game:

Washington trailed the Maple Leafs in Toronto by a goal as late as 12:50 into the third period. In the history of best-of-7 NHL playoff games from 1939 through 2016, inclusive, road teams down one goal as late as 12:50 into the third period had a game record of only 72-592 (.108).

4. Bonus! You ladies are the best!