ARLINGTON, Va. -- Ask members of the once-struggling Washington Capitals when their season turned around, and there are a myriad of answers.
One theory is that a players only meeting after a 2-8-1 start helped steer the team in the right direction (the Capitals are 19-9-1 since).
Others point to the Capitals’ two-game sweep against the Winnipeg Jets, March 21-22, in which they outscored their opponent 10-1 at MTS Centre and gained four points on the then-Southeast Division-leaders.
There is also the thought that a comeback win against the Carolina Hurricanes on March 14 not only saved Washington’s season but also put a serious dent in Carolina’s once promising campaign.
Consider that the Hurricanes entered that game having won six of seven (including a 4-0 shutout of the Capitals two nights earlier) and were 10 points clear of Washington for first place in the Southeast Division. Exactly four weeks later, the teams meet Thursday at Verizon Center, this time with the Capitals 10 points ahead of the Hurricanes.
"It's definitely surprising," Capitals forward Eric Fehr said of the 20-point swing between the teams in less than a month.