The Washington Capitals were down twice in tonight’s win over the St. Louis Blues… down, but never out. The Caps came back from 1-0 and 2-1 deficits to beat the Blues 3-2. Jason Arnott provided another timely point as he picked up the game winning goal at 14:41 in the 3rd period. Scott Hannon (first goal in 118 games) and Nicklas Backstrom each scored in the second period. Alex Ovechkin had two assists.
The Caps are showing that they have what it takes to contend for the Stanley Cup. My top 5 winning attributes to win the Stanley Cup:
1. Defense first game plan – the caps are nearly 40 games into their “defense first” philosophy/system change. The Caps aren’t there yet, but they are becoming more consistent. The Caps have given up 2 goals or less, in 5 of the last 6 games. The Caps have won each of those five games… nuff said!
2. Goaltending – Michal Neuvirth has been spectacular and has now won 4 of 5 games. Caps have depth with Varlamov, now a definitive #2 backup, but excellent stats this year. Overall GAA is 2.45 and ranks 6th.
3. Special teams – Caps rank 4th on the PK (85.5%). Power Play MUST improve to win the cup.
4. Depth – the pick up of Arnott, Wideman, and Sturm has already paid dividends and gives the Caps depth and line options. Poti and Green will eventually give the Caps one of the deepest beanches in hockey.
5. Resolve. The last attribute, resolve, is an intangible that often determines a team’s success or failure. Resolve is simply not giving up… not playing another team’s game. To me, resolve, is measured in comeback wins. The Caps have 17 comeback wins (NHL average is 12.3), ranking them in the top 5 of the NHL. Another amazing stat – the Caps lead the NHL when trailing after the first period (win 47.4% of the time).
The Caps had another come back win – showed RESOLVE and continue to play an effective brand of NHL hockey. If the power play gets back on track, the Caps have a winning formula to take the Stanley Cup!
About the Author
Written by Dennis Patchett
Huge NHL and soccer fan! Love Columbus, Ohio sports! Buckeyes, Crew, Blue Jackets! Also, the Washington Capitals are my new adopted NHL team!