Washington Capitals Week 4 Review: Strong Start Continues


Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Capitals are off to an 8-2-0 start after winning two of their three games last week. A review of the week that was.

The Washington Capitals strong start continued in week four as the Caps improved their record to 8-2-0. This is the third time in team history that they have had such a great start. They also had 8-2-0 starts during the 1991-1992 NHL season and the 2011-2012 NHL season.

They continue to look impressive and have been dominating puck possession. They have the third best even strength Corsi For percentage, the sixth best even strength Scoring Chances For percentage, and second best even strength Fenwick For percentage (all score adjusted). They were a bit sloppy this week, but they were still able to win two out of three games, including both of the games that they played on consecutive nights. That’s never easy to do in the NHL.

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The Washington Capitals began their week with a five-day layoff from their previous game when they faced the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday. The five-day layoff showed as the Caps looked rusty at times. They played a strong game against the Penguins, but they were done in by several blown coverages in the third period. Caps center Evgeny Kuznetsov scored the lone goal for the Capitals that evening. Caps goaltender Braden Holtby played well, allowing just two goals. Marc-Andre Fleury of the Penguins was better than him. That was the determining factor in the game. 

The Capitals faced the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday. The Blue Jackets, to the surprise of nobody, attempted to slow the game down by setting up strong traps. It was somewhat successful, as the Caps were lulled to sleep. It wasn’t a pretty one, but forwards Justin Williams and T.J. Oshie provided the offense necessary for the Washington Capitals to win 2-1. The defense suffocated the Blue Jackets and Braden Holtby was outstanding between the pipes.

The Washington Capitals faced a daunting task, traveling to Florida to take on the Panthers on Saturday night. Both teams had played the previous evening. It showed as both teams looked sloppy and the game was not pretty by any stretch of the imagination. What was pretty in that game? Kuznetsov’s game winner in overtime sure was. Capitals goaltender Philipp Grubauer‘s play in net was pretty as well. In the end, that’s what mattered for the Caps as they got a 2-1 win.

News and Notes:


Alex Ovechkin

hasn’t scored a goal in four games. The Caps are still finding ways to win even when Ovi doesn’t score. That’s extremely promising. For the record, Ovechkin is still racking up assists even though he’s not scoring goals. There’s no reason to be worried about Ovechkin’s lack of scoring. If anything, Washington Capitals fans should be encouraged because the Capitals are winning even without Ovi scoring. That’s something they haven’t been able to do in the past.

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The offense is starting to hit a bit of regression after three weeks. It’s promising that the Caps aren’t getting discouraged and that their defense has stepped up. They have two goaltenders who they can rely on to steal them games when their offense isn’t clicking.

  • Watching Kuznetsov develop has been such a pleasure. He’s one of the best young centers in the NHL. He’s been showing it too. The Washington Capitals have two centers who they can rely on consistently in Kuznetsov and Nicklas Backstrom. Kuznetsov’s development allows Backstrom to make the second line even better.
  • Dmitry Orlov has been extremely good as of late. He was without question the Caps best defenseman against the Panthers. The Caps have to be patient with him because any player who misses a full year of hockey is going to be rusty. He does so many more good things than bad things. He’s going to continue to shake the rust off and shine. It’s a lot of fun seeing Orlov play in a system that encourages him to be active on offense.
  • Next: Who's Hot And Who's Not: Week 4

    Time for the weekly poll. How do you think the Washington Capitals did this week on a scale of one to ten? One means they were awful, ten means that they did as perfect of a job as a bunch of imperfect beings could do.

    Go Caps!