After the Washington Capitals’ eighth straight win at home, a 5-3 triumph over the Boston Bruins, here are a few observations from tonight’s contest.
1. First Strike
The biggest key for the Washington Capitals during its dominant run through the National Hockey League, especially at home, has been their starts to games. Just 3:06 into tonight’s game, T.J. Oshie scored on a breakaway, and that goal symbolizes what’s been happening at home for the Caps in the first 20 minutes. In their home winning streak, Washington is outscoring its opponents 12-5 in the first period, including scoring three goals in the first against the Chicago Blackhawks on Jan. 13 and jumping out to a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Jan. 5, the day Columbus’s 16-game winning streak was snapped. Overall, Washington is outscoring its opponents 40-12 in its last eight home games.
2. All Hands on Deck
While almost every team in every major professional sport will go through injuries along the way, the injury bug has somehow avoided biting the Capitals this season. Going into tonight, Washington’s players have combined to only miss a grand total of 19 man games due to injury, by far the lowest in the National Hockey League. Wonder why you keep hearing all of the same names doing great things night after night for the Capitals? That’s because they’re all present, every game.
3. One More For the Road
After tonight, Washington goes on the road to take on the Montréal Canadiens on Saturday. Once they get home after that game, they won’t have to leave the Washington DC area for almost two whole weeks. What follows their trip to the Bell Centre is four consecutive home games, then six consecutive days off between Feb. 12 and Feb. 17 before having to play in Detroit on Feb. 18. With their dominance at home, the Capitals might provide a whole lot more love to their fans as we head towards Valentine’s Day.