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Who's hot and who's not?: Ovi, Shattenkirk and the Caps' power play are cranking up

Who's hot and who's not?: Ovi, Shattenkirk and the Caps' power play are cranking up

Once a week this season, we've examined the numbers and pointed out a few trends that every Capitals fan should know about. Here’s our latest look:

Hot

 

Alex Ovechkin

The Caps’ captain has six goals and five assists in the last nine games. As I detailed here, the most noticeable difference has been the drastic uptick in the number of shots he’s taken since the team’s four-game losing streak earlier this month. Again, if you were worried about Ovi’s ability to turn it on, don’t be. No. 8 has transitioned into playoff mode.

Kevin Shattenkirk

The adjustment period seems to be nearing its end with the Caps’ newest player. Not only is he looking much more comfortable in his own end, he’s now in sync on the power play and chipping in offensively at even strength, too. In 13 games as a Capital, he’s racked up 11 points—all assists. In just the past three games, Shattenkirk has five helpers—three at even strength and two on the power play.

Marcus Johansson

Already enjoying a career year, Mojo has taken things to another level lately, having accumulated a goal and seven assists in the last four games. In fact, over the last 15 games the 26-year-old winger is second on the Caps in points with 14 (4 goals and 10 assists). Fellow Swede Nicklas Backstrom is the only player with more (19 points) during that span.   

Power play

During the Caps’ current six game winning streak, the power play has converted nine of 19 opportunities (47.4-percent). Ovechkin owns five of those power play tallies, while John Carlson, Johansson, Backstrom and Evgeny Kuznetsov have the others. Since Jan. 1, the Caps have more power play goals (35) than any other team and have a 35-5-2 record this season when getting at least one.

RELATED: Prospect report: Playoff time in the WHL

Not

 

Blue Jackets and Penguins

In the race for the Metro Division crown, Washington is making its move while Columbus and Pittsburgh have begun to scuffle a bit. The Caps have won six in a row and earned points in eight straight (7-0-1). The Blue Jackets, on the other hand, are 2-1-2 in their last five games, while the Penguins are 0-2-2 in their last four. This weekend figures to be a pivotal one in the Metro/Presidents' Trophy race. The Caps own a 110-106 lead over the Jackets, while the Pens lag behind with 103 points. Washington is playing at 29th place Arizona on Friday night, while Columbus plays at Western Conference-leading Chicago…after some plane problems leaving Raleigh late Thursday night. Washington then plays at Columbus on Sunday.    

Lars Eller

The third line center scored an empty net goal to clinch the Caps’ 5-3 win in Colorado on Wednesday. It was Eller’s first point in the month of March and first goal since Feb. 7, a span of 22 games. Will it spark something? The Caps had better hope so. Eller’s line needs to get going again.

Brett Connolly’s ice time

Connolly has been the Caps’ feel good story this season. Lately, though, the 24-year-old has seen a dip in ice time. In fact, over the last 13 games, Connolly has seen fewer than 10 minutes nine times. That only happened three times in the previous 32 contests. A quick glance at the numbers reveal a couple interesting things: No. 1, Connolly also has more goals (15) in less ice time on average (10:43) than anyone in the league this season and No. 2, he’s been assessed more minor penalties per 60 minutes than any player on the Caps (1.80).

For more Capitals coverage, check out the latest edition of the Capitals Faceoff Podcast!

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Capitals Faceoff podcast: Barry Trotz has his work cut out for him

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Capitals Faceoff podcast: Barry Trotz has his work cut out for him

Barry Trotz is now the head coach of the New York Islanders, a team that missed the playoffs and just lost their franchise player. So how does next season look on Long Island?

In the long summer months, the Capitals Faceoff Podcast will take a look at some of the Caps' competition next season. In this episode, it's the New York Islanders. Brian Compton of NHL.com joins Rob Carlin and Tarik El-Bashir to talk about what Trotz brings to Long Island and what's left to work with.

Check out their latest episode in the player below or listen on the Capitals Faceoff Podcast page.

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Monumental announces major improvements for in-game experience at Capitals and Wizards games

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Monumental announces major improvements for in-game experience at Capitals and Wizards games

Monumental Sports & Entertainment announced an overhauled in-game entertainment experience for the 2018-19 Wizards and Capitals seasons on Wednesday. 

These changes include a new DJ stage, new permanent 3D on ice/on court projection system, along with new Wizards and Capitals entertainment squads, as Capital One Arena undergoes $40 million in renovations.

“We are committed to putting on the best show possible for every fan who comes to a game at Capital One Arena,” said MSE President of Business Operations Jim Van Stone.  “So, as we upgrade the facilities at the Arena this summer, we are also upgrading all of our in-game entertainment to keep the experience fresh and on the cutting edge.”

“We’re excited about these new changes to our game entertainment experience,” said Hunter Lochmann, MSE Senior Vice President of Marketing.  “We work hard to create the best, most engaging entertainment experience in professional sports and we hope fans love this new, revamped energy.”

 

Some of the other improvement announced were:

  • Digital signage experience throughout the fully-renovated concourses that will pull fans into an exclusively all-Wizards or all-Capitals team experience each night highlighting player and team imagery on each concourse
  • Sponsored quadrants in the Arena where fans will experience concourse takeovers and can expect special offers and giveaways from sponsors
  • Olympia ice resurfacer bus: groups of fans will be able to take pre-game and intermission rides
  • Award-winning, chef-inspired dining experience featuring options from premiere chefs David Chang, Cat Cora and Alex McCoy
  • A transformed and modernized PwC Club offering some of the best sightlines in the Arena and new 100-level lounge, both featuring top-of-the-line comfort seating and exclusive food and beverage options so fans can gather in style during the games 
  • A new in-bowl broadcasting platform for NBC Sports Washington

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