The month of November is over and now there’s only one month left in 2023. For many of us and the Washington Capitals, 2023 couldn’t end soon enough. But in November the Capitals took tremendous strides and are now in a much better position than many folks thought they would be in.
Thanks to a 8-3-1 record in the 11th month of the calendar year, the Capitals sit in third place in the Metropolitan Division. They are also just one point behind the second place Carolina Hurricanes.
The month started off with the worst news imaginable as Nicklas Backstrom announced that he was stepping away from the game of hockey. It appears it could be the end of what was a stellar career for the 2006 first round draft pick.
In that first game against the New York Islanders, the Capitals were shut out 3-0 on home ice. They bounced back with a 2-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets for their 1,000th win on home ice in franchise history.
They then came up short in overtime against the Florida Panthers in a game they could’ve won as they entered the third period with a 3-2 lead. But after that overtime defeat, the Capitals would go on to win five straight games.
First they beat the Devils in New Jersey then got revenge over the Islanders in their barn in Long Island. Then came a 3-0 shutout over the defending Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Nights. The Caps would then go on to beat the Blue Jackets once again before rallying to beat the Buffalo Sabres the night before Thanksgiving.
Then what followed was two straight losses. The first one came in another shutout in a 5-0 dud on Black Friday to the Edmonton Oilers. Then there was a 2-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks that kicked off the five game road trip.
The best player for the Capitals in November was Charlie Lindgren as the net minder saw more ice time thanks to his hot hand an a short term injury to Darcy Kuemper. Lindgren went 5-1-0 in November and his season goals against average is now 2.30 while his save percentage is at .934.
So far this season Alex Ovechkin leads the Caps in points with 14 as his assists began picking up with the absence of Backstrom. John Carlson leads in assists with 12 while Dylan Strome’s eight goals lead the team in that category.
All we want for Christmas is to see Ovechkin score more goals and the Caps to continue their hot stretch from November not just in the month of December but for the rest of the way.