Washington Capitals: Breaking down what went right in 2021

T.J. Oshie, Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
T.J. Oshie, Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports /

Although the Washington Capitals won’t be playing for a Stanley Cup beginning tonight, the 2021 season was still a fun and memorable one for the team and the fans as the players and coaches navigated through a tough world that was still dealing with COVID-19.

Thankfully there was no bubble to deal with this time and a little bit of travel as the Caps had to play the same opponent eight times over a 56 game season. It brought the highs and the lows. Although the season ended in the lowest of the lows, we will only look at the highs in this post.

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In the regular season, the Caps had no problem scoring as the team was ranked fifth in the NHL with 3.36 goals per game. In the playoffs, that number dipped to 2.00 as the oldest team in the NHL struggled against the Boston Bruins.

Speaking of offense, the power play was also killer for the Caps once again, ranking third in the league with a success rate of 24.8 percent. In the playoffs, yeah let’s skip that part. What also went right for the Caps was no matter if they were young or old it was always next man up. Whether a player was dealing with an injury or was on the COVID-19 protocols list, whoever was next whether it was a scratch or a taxi squad member, filled in nicely.

Peter Laviolette’s discipline he brought in his first season as well as winning attitude helped bring the culture somewhat back to normal though we won’t really see how different the culture is until there’s more winning on the ice come spring time.

Despite missing time in the early part of the season on the COVID list as well as a lower body injury at the tail end of the regular season, Alex Ovechkin still had a solid regular season with 24 goals and 18 assists for 42 points. In his career, Ovechkin has 730 goals and if he can get back to scoring 30-40 goals starting with a full season next year, he could possibly catch Wayne Gretzky.

Although the defense was shaky at times, the addition of Zdeno Chara not only improved the play of Nick Jensen but helped strengthen the locker room. That was one of the advantages to having the oldest team in the NHL.

We also saw T.J. Oshie enjoy a solid year where he scored 22 goals and 21 assists for 43 points. Oshie continues to be the heart and soul of the team and it would be a shame if the team left him exposed.

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What impressed you the most about the 2021 season Caps fans? What would you like to see change next year?