Mark this week down.
If you were looking ahead when the schedule first came out, you likely had Nov. 24-25 circled on your calendar as the Caps were playing back-to-back games against the Tampa Bay Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs.
Many thought both of those teams would be good this season. We were wrong. They are both even better than expected.
Given the opposition and how the Caps have struggled in back-to-backs this year, had Washington won just one of their games it would have felt like a success. Yet, Washington was able to win both.
Philipp Grubauer was magnificent for about 58 minutes against Tampa in a 3-1 win on Friday. Washington followed that up with a big road win in Toronto on Saturday thanks to a hat trick performance by Alex Ovechkin.
The Caps have now won three games in a row, four of their last five and six of their last nine.
Whatever success Washington goes on to have this season, this will be a week we remember as a tipping point. This is when a team that struggled to find its identity in the first quarter of the season finally “got it.” This is when things clicked.
The important thing now is to keep it going. What the Caps do over the course of the next few weeks will determine whether this week’s success stands out as the turning point of the season or whether it is just another high point scattered among the other peaks and valleys of the NHL season.