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The Landlubber’s Guide to the Washington Capitals

Get caught up on the other Washington NHL team

NHL: OCT 13 Rangers at Capitals Photo by Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Hey you. You’re swept up in all this Seattle Kraken hype. You want to know more about hockey but don’t know where to start. Well, we want to help make these games easy and fun for you to watch.

Throughout the season, we’ll release Landlubber’s Guides designed with the new fan in mind. This includes basic need-to-know info for you to absorb before you watch Kraken games and highlights.

Let’s dive into the Washington Capitals.

Are they any good?

The Captials are pretty good! Which is somewhat surprising because they’re also one of the oldest teams in the NHL. But their aging stars haven’t slowed them down at all this season. They’re 11-2-5 so far, a fantastic start.

Who should I look out for?

  • Ovi & Backy - Alex Ovechkin (#8, Left Wing) is formidable on his own. You can find him camped out at the left circle where he scores on the reg with a cannon for a shot. But Ovi and Nicklas Backstrom (#19, Center) are a duo on the power play. Backstrom was drafted in 2006 specifically to help Ovi set up his unstoppable shot and they’ve been together ever since. Unfortunately Backstrom is on LTIR and won’t be in the lineup today, but keep an eye out for this duo the next time they face the Kraken.
  • Evgeny Kuznetsov (#92, Center) - Kuznetsov is having a bounce-back year after struggling last season (with scoring and with testing positive for Covid-19). He’s on the first line for 5v5 and on the power play too.
  • Tom Wilson (#43, Right Wing) - Tom Wilson is like Hawaiian pizza, you either love him or hate him. In a past hockey life, Wilson was relegated to enforcer status with a habit for earning trips to the penalty box. But recently he’s been earning points on the top line with Ovechkin. He also shines on the penalty kill so look for him during Kraken power plays.

Any Seattle Ties?

  • T.J. Oshie (#77, Right Wing) - Born in Mount Vernon, T.J. Oshie played for the Seattle Junior Hockey Association while growing up in the Everett area.

Odds & Ends

  • The Kraken selected Vitek Vanecek from the Caps in the expansion draft... and gave him back a week later. Vanecek has started 11 games for the Caps and currently has a .911 SV%.
  • The Washington Capitals won their first Stanley Cup in 2018 and... uh... didn’t hold back on celebrating.
  • Ovi is chasing Wayne Gretzky’s all-time record of 894 goals.
    The bad news? He’s 36 years old.
    The good news? He’s at 744 career goals and isn’t showing signs of slowing down his goal-scoring pace, despite his age.

Tonight’s game is at 6pm at Climate Pledge Arena and will be broadcast on ROOT Sports NW.