When the Capitals hosted the Penguins Sunday afternoon, it provided the perfect setting for one team to defend its history, while the other tried to add to it. The 1992-93 Penguins hold the record for most consecutive wins in a season with 17. As you know, the Pens were not able to hold off the Capitals on Sunday, allowing Washington to extend the streak to 14 with a rather light schedule of three games remaining before the Olympic break. Would the Caps tie it at 17 before then? Would a team like St. Louis or the similarly halted Ottawa Sens manage to crack the run?
Well friends, for those who stuck around a bit following last night's Pens/Isles game, you know the outcome of that. For others who may not have had the privilege of watching the Habs/Caps, you definitely missed a good one. The Canadiens held a 5-2 lead going into the third before Washington powered back to, amazingly, tie it at 5 with less than 20 seconds remaining. In overtime, which constitutes as a win-streak breaker even if the point streak remains intact, the Canadiens managed to surge into the Caps zone and, with eight seconds left, watch the puck launch from Tomas Plekanec's stick to beat Jose Theodore for the win. It was just about as good a regular season game as you're going to see.
I know a few irate Capitals fans may find their way over to this post, but so be it. There's no way of typing a post like this without really getting under the skin of the opposition, even if that's not the intent of it at all. If Twitter is any indication of how Caps fans reacted, then clearly it's a conspiracy against the team to not extend the streak to 15 and perhaps even beyond, and anyone who says otherwise is a Cap hater. Yet having read the recap over at Japers' Rink, it seems like cooler, more rational minds have prevailed in the majority here.
In a way, a Penguins fan can kind of relate to Mercury Morris and the 1972 Miami Dolphins. While an undefeated season is just about as impossible a thing in hockey as any, a 17 game win streak is nothing to shy at either. As I mentioned earlier in this post, the Caps' streak of terror is still far from over. The point streak is still alive and the Sens and Blues may still fall victim to the Caps before the Oly break. Make no mistake, the Caps are still streaking right now. And if you ever doubted this team's offense outside of Alex Ovechkin, then perhaps you should look over the schedule of recent wins and see just how palpable this offense really is.
They're averaging almost five goals per game. Guys like Mike Green, Brooks Laich, who notched a hat trick last night, and Nicklas Backstrom are a strong backbone to this team - again, outside of Alex Ovechkin. It's pretty obvious at this point that Washington is playoff bound. They may even make a deep run. But for the time being, the 92-93 Pens record remains intact.