During the season, several bloggers and members of the media posited that the Capitals had a lack of high-end talent and that by not resigning Alex Semin in the offseason, we would have a deep hole that we couldn't fill as it regards talent.
Ok, let us review.
The Capitals finished the season with the number one power play unit in the NHL. Last night, we scored three power play goals against the league's best penalty kill team, the Boston Bruins. Our power play often includes Ovechkin and Green at the point, and Brouwer in the middle with Ribeiro and Backstrom handling the puck. Lack of high-end talent? Special team play usually depends on high-end talent.
Alex Ovechkin won his third Richard Trophy for scoring the most goals in the regular season. He is now the only player to have won that trophy three times. He finished third in the NHL in scoring and is right in the midst of MVP consideration. One member of the media said we should buy Alex Ovechkin's contract out in amnesty. Really? Lack of high-end talent?
Mike Green scored the most goals in the NHL by a defensemen, as he is now healthy. Lack of high-end talent?
Nicklas Backstrom finished third in the NHL for assists behind Crosby and St. Louis.
We essentially replaced Alex Semin on our second line with Mike Ribeiro and Troy Brouwer. Mike finished the regular season with 13 goals, 36 assists and 49 points. He was second on the Caps in scoring. Brouwer had 19 goals, 14 assists and 33 points. He was fourth on the team in scoring.
The two second line players teamed for 82 points.
We missed Brooks Laich for most of the season, too.
We made a decision regarding team construction and productivity vs. payroll dollars expended; it appears we made the right decisions.
The Capitals placed three players in the top 15 in scoring in the NHL. No other team did that - with Mike Ribeiro finishing ninth in scoring.
The team won 27 games - right now, one less win than the Bruins as an aside. Eric Fehr scored the OT-winner last night. His second OT-winner against the Bruins this season. We overcame a 3-0 deficit against the Bruins and a 2-0 deficit against the Bruins to win both of those games. Eric Fehr, who wasn't a popular resigning with many bloggers this past of season scored nine goals and had 17 points this season, as well.
The Capitals have plenty of high-end talent, and we also played quite well as a team during the season, overcoming a very slow start. We won the division for the fifth time in six years. We were 15-8-1 at home, and we have now had 177 straight sell-outs.
We also have the most talented and most fanatical fans in the NHL. Thank you. Go Caps!