The 2009 calendar year was a very good one for the Washington Capitals, who enjoyed success on and off the ice. The Capitals advanced to the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time in more than 10 years. Off the ice Caps fans created a buzz in Washington, D.C., selling out Verizon Center at a record pace and following the Caps passionately on TV and on the web.
Caps on-ice successes
The Caps finished 2009 with a 50-23-11 record in 84 games. Their 111 points on the year ranked fourth behind New Jersey (58-25-2, 118 points), San Jose (51-22-12, 114 points) and Chicago (53-27-8, 114 points).
The Caps won their fifth division title last spring, claiming the Southeast Division with 108 points (50-24-8).
Alex Ovechkin’s 58 goals and 111 points in 2009 both led the league (next closest: Ilya Kovalchuk with 54 goals and Sidney Crosby with 101 points).
Mike Green led all defensemen in the calendar year with 32 goals and 88 points (next closest: Shea Weber with 17 goals and Duncan Keith with 61 points).
Caps off-ice successes
Forty-six of 48 home games (regular season and playoffs) were sold out.
The Caps had a 1.13 TV rating for local broadcasts, which was up 60% from the previous calendar year. The highest rated game was Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against Pittsburgh that drew a 6.7 on Versus. The best Comcast SportsNet rating was Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the New York Rangers (4.0).
The Capitals created Capitals Red Line Monday, a half-hour television show that aired on Comcast SportsNet.
WashingtonCaps.com had more than 6.6 million unique visitors to the site in 2009. March saw the highest monthly unique visitors to WashingtonCaps.com with more than 1.3 million people visiting due in large part to Ovechkin’s 50th goal celebration video.
Those fans accessed more than 44.3 million page views for 2009, peaking in April with more than 6.3 million page views.
Caps Care Charity raised more than $360,000 during the 2009 calendar year and donated more than $304,000 during that span to local charities.
This past decade saw the Capitals organization develop into one of the best in the NHL. Ted Leonsis took over the team in 1999 and started to make his mark on the franchise immediately. Here are some of the highlights from this past decade:
The Caps finished the decade with a 344-291-109 record for a points percentage of .536. Only in the 1980s did they have a better percentage -- .552 (388-304-109).
The Caps won four of their five division titles in franchise history in the 2000s.
Five of the Capitals’ 10 NHL First All-Star Team designations in franchise history came in the 2000s (Ovechkin in 2005-06, 2006-07, 2007-08 and 2008-09; Green in 2008-09).
Nine of the team’s 12 "player of the month" honors came in the 2000s. (Kolzig in January 2000; Lang in November 2003; Ovechkin in January 2006, January 2008, March 2008, November 2008, December 2008-3rd star and October 2009-2nd star; Semin in October 2008)
Four of the Caps’ seven "rookie of the month" honors came in the 2000s (Halpern in March 2000; Ovechkin in December 2005 and January 2006; Backstrom in December 2007).
Eleven of the team's 17 major NHL Awards came during the 2000s (Kolzig’s Vezina in 1999-2000 and King Clancy in 2005-06; Boudreau’s Adams in 2007-08; Ovechkin’s Calder in 2005-06, Hart in 2007-08 and 2008-09, Pearson in 2007-08 and 2008-09, Richard in 2007-08 and 2008-09 and Ross in 2007-08).
Four ex-Capitals were elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in the 2000s, the first from the team to earn that honor (Gartner, Langway, Murphy, Stevens).