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Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Behind the numbers: Washington Capitals

By Joy Russo

Here’s a look at the Washington Capitals by the numbers, courtesy of ESPN Stats and Information guru Vince Masi:

• How the Capitals have fared in the Alex Ovechkin era:

2009-10: 121 points, 54 wins (set franchise record)

2008-09: 108 points, 50 wins (tied franchise record)

2007-08: 94 points, 43 wins

2006-07: 70 points, 28 wins

2005-06: 70 points, 29 wins

• Ovechkin also ranks first in these four categories since coming into the NHL in 2005-06: Goals (269), points (529), power-play goals (91) and shots on goal (2,159). That last number is particularly gaudy (you love it, fantasy owners!) – the closest anyone has come to Ovi over that same span is Vincent Lecavalier with 1,552 shots.

• Ovechkin scores goals, but the team has yet to turn it into a championship. Having said that, they are not the only ones. Just one player in the past 15 years won a Stanley Cup and scored 50 goals in the same season: Joe Sakic did it in 2001 and 1996. If you go back 20 years, you can include Adam Graves (52 goals for the Rangers in 1993-94) and Kevin Stevens (54 goals for the Penguins in 1991-92) on the list.

• Since the post-lockout NHL in 2005-06, 20 teams have won at least 50 games in the regular season. Last season, the Capitals became the eighth team with at least 50 wins to lose in the first round. It took the franchise 15 years before they reached conference finals (Washington was swept by Boston in 1990) and earned just one trip to Stanley Cup finals (swept by the Red Wings in 1998).

Here are the league-wide playoff results for teams that have won at least 50 regular-season games since 2005-06:

Lost in conference quarterfinals: 8 times

Lost in conference semifinals: 4 times

Lost in conference finals: 3 times

Lost in Stanley Cup finals: 2 times

Won the Stanley Cup: 3 times (Carolina in 2005-06, Detroit in 2007-08, Chicago in 2009-10)