It’s been a few weeks since Justin Williams started producing like Justin Williams again. But what he’s managed to do during the Capitals’ hot spell has got to be heartening for the team and its fan base.
Since the Caps’ offensive breakout began 11 games ago in New Jersey, the 35-year-old winger leads the team in goals (8) and ranks second in shots (27).
No one in the league has scored more goals than Williams since New Year’s Eve.
Compare that to the two goals Williams mustered in the first 24 games and, yeah, that slow start is disappearing in the rearview mirror—fast.
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Over the last 22 games, in fact, Williams has been a point per game player, racking up 14 goals and eight assists in that span after scoring in Thursday’s 7-3 win in St. Louis.
With 16 goals on the season, including four in the last three games, the veteran is on pace for 29 goals, which would be his highest total since he potted 33 as a Hurricane in 2006-07.
After the St. Louis game, Williams said Coach Barry Trotz’s decision to keep together the forward lines in recent weeks has helped boost everyone’s production.
“There’s something to be said for chemistry within lines,” said Williams, who has been skating with Evgeny Kuznetsov and Marcus Johansson. “Once you’re with someone for a little bit, it’s just human nature that you’re going to learn their ticks and where they’re going to be and their voice, all of the above.”
The Caps are 17-2-1 this season when Williams records a point.
On Saturday, Williams and his teammates will wrap up the two-game Dad’s Trip with a stop in Dallas, where they’ll face a Stars’ team they have not defeated since 2008.
“As I said earlier, I’m 35-years-old and I still want to impress my dad,” he said of his father, Craig. “I feel his eyes on me. He’s watching. I can see him sitting up there in the press box. It’s fun having him here, that’s for sure. You don’t know how many more we’re going to get, so you just enjoy the time that you have together.”
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