The Washington Capitals are just showing off now. Seven wins in a row — 12 out of their last 13 games, and, halfway through the season, an 18-1-1 record at home.
Tuesday’s night’s shootout 2-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers at the Verizon Center is yet one more piece of evidence of how dangerous this team can be. On the surface, with the great Alex Ovechkin and the other shooters on this team, like Viktor Kozlov, shootouts should have been like taking candy from a baby. How could they not outshoot the other team?
Well, two seasons ago the Capitals were next to last in shootouts, with a 1-11 record. They improved it slightly last season, with a 4-4 mark, but again, hardly the dominant force you would expect. Tuesday night’s 2-1 shootout win, though, may signal that the Capitals (2-2 in shootouts this season) will be a winning shootout team this season — but not for the reasons we might have expected.
The Capitals may dominate shootouts because of their stopper, Jose Theodore. Tuesday night Theodore stopped shots by Simon Gagne, Mike Richards and Jeff Carter, and Kozlov hit the winning shot for Washington. Here’s what the goalie had to say after the game.
“I always like our chances in shootouts,” Theodore said. “I think with the skill that we have and my record, I feel pretty comfortable in them.”
His career record is 11-3, and he was in the net for both of the Capitals shootout wins this season (and one of the losses as well).
I will be on The Sports Reporters on ESPN 980 AM on Tuesday, Jan. 13, from 5 to 7 p.m.
I will be doing an online chat on www.washingtontimes.com on Thursday, Jan. 15.
To learn more about Thom Loverro, go to www.thomloverro.com.