The final week of November and the first week of December were both filled with lots of goals, lots of wins, and few stumbles for a team that continues to fly high.
This week’s games:
Jakub Vrana’s four goals and seven points in the last six games, including his 100th career point... Carlson picking up career goal #100 in LA, and then following it up with a ridiculous #101... California, here they come... Hershey setting another Teddy Bear Toss record... erasing two consecutive two-goal deficits en route to an overtime win vs. Tampa... Dmitry Orlov getting his first-career overtime winner against the Bolts... the Caps raising over $114,000 for Hockey Fights Cancer... perfect penalty killing since the return of Carl Hagelin... the reunited fourth line absolutely killing it, including Garnet Hathaway’s second-career two-goal game... another 20-goal season for Alex Ovechkin... the blissful end to Movember (great cause, bad facial hair)... cuddle time:
the end of this clip will melt your heart pic.twitter.com/Z7riMSIOQf— NBC Sports Capitals (@NBCSCapitals) December 4, 2019
No Nicklas Backstrom, out with injury for the last seven games (and counting?)... Evander Kane’s elbow on Radko Gudas in San Jose, and the consequent $5000 fine that served as the only punishment... the Caps failing to inflict further punishment on the five-minute major Kane was assessed... a literal miss by everyone in the building (except for Jakub Vrana) on Vrana’s goal against Tampa... bidding adieu to another member of the 2018 Cup team - thanks for everything, Chandler!
3) The Road Warrior Capitals. Nobody has more wins, points, or goals scored on the road than the Caps this season, and that’s continued this week despite going into a couple of very tough buildings.
2) Jakub Vrana. That goal against Tampa that no one noticed until everyone did? Think of that as kind of a metaphor for how quietly Vrana has gone about producing at a high level... and people are just now starting to take notice.
1) John Carlson. This is usually a problem reserved for Alex Ovechkin, but we’re running out of ways to talk about how good he’s been. Consider that as a defenseman he’s in the League’s top five overall in scoring — and lest you think he’s filling up on power-play points, he’s also top three (and just three back from the lead) in even-strength scoring.
Dude. Is. Good.
Weeks in Review: Hit.
After a brief stretch of games in which the Caps had no offensive spark, the goals have started to come in bunches once more - and unsurprisingly, so have the wins, as they’ve ridden a five-game streak into December. They’ve gotten through two of their toughest months on the schedule (including two lengthy road trips) and come out the other side with a healthy lead in the division and in contention for the Presidents’ Trophy once more.
Not a bad way to wrap up the decade.