Leading MenPosted on January 14, 2013 by Mike Vogel
Washington has an impressive 19-1-2 record when leading after the first period, a mark that ranks second in the NHL only to the Boston Bruins this season. Boston is 20-2-0 in such situations; its .909 points pct. is better than Washington’s .864. The Caps have led after the first 20 minutes 22 times in 69 games this season. On the road however, the Capitals have led just six times in 33 games after the first. Earlier this season, Washington went 14 straight road games without leading after the first 20 minutes. While rugged starts have dogged the Caps at times this season, they’re currently in the midst of their best stretch of the season in that regard. Washington has scored the game’s first goal in each of its last four games, matching its best run of the 2011-12 season. The Caps scored first in four straight games from Jan. 9-15. The team’s current streak is even better than the previous one; the Caps have used that first goal as a springboard to a lead after 20 minutes. For the first time all season, Washington has taken a lead into the dressing room after the first frame in four straight games. Earlier this season, they did it in consecutive games three separate times. It’s probably no coincidence that the Caps have picked up a least a point in four straight games for the first time in more than two months, too. In those last four games, the Caps have outscored the opposition by a combined 5-1 in the first 20 minutes. In their previous dozen games, the Capitals had been outscored in the first period by a whopping 13-3. In their last four games, the Caps have owned a lead for a combined total of 120 minutes and 27 seconds. In their previous 11 games, Washington led for a combined total 119 minutes and 3 seconds. With the next five games on the road, this trend is something for the Caps to bear in mind.
The Washington Capitals have one of the league’s best young cores of talent already on their roster. Eleven of the Caps’ rostered players are Washington-drafted, homegrown and developed players. None of those 11 players is over the age of 28. According to The Hockey News’ annual prospect issue,