The Washington Capitals have climbed back into the race for their fifth consecutive Southeast Division title with three straight victories. But where has this come from? Why have they been winning consecutive games now?
Was it a second-intermission rant coach Dale Hunter went on Thursday night to spark the team to a 3-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning? Is it the goaltending of Tomas Vokoun and Michal Neuvirth? Is it the resurrection of Brooks Laich, who has three goals in his last four games?
While all of these have led to the current three-game winning streak, the most important factor is that the Capitals are not turning the puck over. As a result, not only has it led to the Capitals being within a point of the division-leading Florida Panthers, but it has also led to a decrease in odd-man rushes against, something that has been killing the Capitals this season.
Defenseman Karl Alzner spoke out saying the team has been making smart hockey plays, waiting for the other team to make mistakes. And while it is hard on the body, it has been getting the job done of late.
With the Capitals off today, here are some thoughts after yesterday’s 2-0 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.
-The Capitals are a perfect 21-0-0 when leading after two periods. They are the only team besides the Boston Bruins who have not lost a game after leading after two.
-The Capitals have had their way with Canadian teams this season, going 11-1-1 in their last 13 games against the Leafs, Canadiens, Senators, Jets, and Flames.
-The Capitals are about to journey on a season-defining five-game road trip, stopping in Long Island, Winnipeg, Chicago, Detroit, and Philadelphia. They are 12-18-3 this season on the road.
To make the playoffs I feel they need to win three out of the five games on this road trip. What are your thoughts on the road trip?