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As NHL All-Star Break Approaches, ‘Hometown’ Capitals Seek to Make History

As NHL All-Star Break Approaches, Hometown Capitals Seek to Make History

Photo Courtesy of Clyde via

If any Loyola student wants to check out the some of the best hockey in the country, all they would have to do is flip on CSN Mid-Atlantic, or travel the 41 miles to the Verizon Center in Washington, DC. There, they’d see the Washington Capitals, who are chasing history this NHL season.

After a disappointing 2014-15 season, a season which saw them get eliminated in seven games in the second round of the playoffs, the Capitals have roared back with a vengeance. Through 46 games (as of January 20), Washington has amassed an incredible 73 points (2 points for a win, 1 point for an OT loss). The 73-point mark equates to a record of 35-8-3, a remarkable .761 winning percentage.

The Capitals, the closest Baltimore has to a hometown hockey team, are as close to a perfect team as you can get in the NHL this season. Their captain, left wing Alex Ovechkin, is leading the Eastern Conference in goals, with 28. The team as a whole leads the conference in goals, with 147, sixteen more than the second-place Boston Bruins. Goaltender Braden Holtby is in fourth place in the NHL with a .931 save percentage, and leads the league in victories with 29. He made news earlier in the season for earning at least one point in 23 consecutive games.

With a 14-point lead in the Eastern Conference standings, there’s little doubt that the Capitals will earn the top seed in the playoffs, as well as the President’s Trophy for best record in the NHL. The big question is if they can break the all-time team points record.

Right now, the Capitals are on pace for a remarkable 130 points, only two shy of the all-time record of 132, held by the 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens. That Canadiens team went on to win the Stanley Cup, something the Capitals have never done in their 41-year history. In fact, the only time they made it to the final, in 1997-98, they were swept in four games. The “Caps” are also trying to prevent a playoff collapse, which they have done numerous times recently. Always a regular season juggernaut, they seem to find a way to be a let-down once games really matter.

While it remains to be seen if the Capitals will win the Stanley Cup this season, they’re looking like the best team in the Eastern Conference by a longshot. They’ll be keeping Mid-Atlantic hockey fans on the edge of their seats all season long in the pursuit of the points record, as well as championship glory.

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As NHL All-Star Break Approaches, ‘Hometown’ Capitals Seek to Make History