Advantage Margin: -3
The Caps had sizeable differentials at home and on the road; they enjoyed 21 more power plays than the opposition at Verizon Center, but allowed 24 more than they earned on the road.
Even-Strength Goals Margin: +17
2007-08 SEASON STATS
(3rd east/12th NHL)
|Change from 2006-07
(6th east/13th NHL)
(7th east/11th NHL)
The Caps made a huge gain from 2006-07, when they were minus-24 at even strength. Alex Ovechkin
had 43 of his 65 goals with the teams playing even.
Special Teams Goal Margin: -6
It’s hard to believe that a team with the NHL’s top goal-scorer (Ovechkin) and top-scoring defenseman (Mike Green
) couldn’t manage more than 65 power-play goals. Ovechkin had 22 and Green had 8; the rest of the team managed just 30.
Goals by defensemen: 33
Green blossomed into the NHL’s most-prolific goal-scoring defenseman, but no other Washington defender had more than five goals. Newcomer Tom Poti
, relied on for his offensive skills, scored just twice.
Overtime Record Total: 11-4-4 | OT: 7-4 | SO: 4-4
The Caps were markedly improved in shootouts; splitting eight after going 1-11 in 2006-07. Green had three OT winners, including two against the New York Rangers.
Times Scored First 43 Record 30-11-2 (.698)
The Caps’ winning percentage when scoring first was strictly in the middle of the pack. But it was a big improvement from 2006-07, when they won only 56.8 percent of the time when getting the first goal.
Best 07-08 Number 163
Ovechkin’s total goals in his first three NHL seasons were third all-time, trailing only Wayne Gretzky (198) and Mike Bossy (173) — both of whom played in an era when goals were much more plentiful.
Worst 07-08 Number 26
Goals by Alexander Semin, whose total was second on the Caps to Ovechkin’s 65 last season. Ovechkin scored a League-leading 27.3 percent of his team’s goals; Washington has to get more offense from everyone who doesn’t wear No. 8 on his jersey.
Washington has two Western trips before Thanksgiving. Its best chance to make hay comes from mid-February through early March, when they play nine of 10 at home. But the Caps have a tough ending: They play their last three games on the road, all against division opponents.