Here is an interesting stat that may speak volumes about how far the Capitals have come in the postseason.
During the regular season, the Caps were 21-5-4 when Alex Ovechkin scored a goal and 21-27-4 when he didnt.
In their first-round series victory over the Boston Bruins, the Caps went 0-2 in the two games Ovechkin scored and 4-1 in the five games he didnt. In other words, the Capitals accomplished what was once considered inconceivable.
Essentially, they won a playoff round without Ovechkin scoring.
But dont be fooled, says Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg, who logged an incredible 187 minutes in the series, second behind Zdeno Charas league-leading 191:29.
Ovechkin may have had just two goals and three assists in the series, but Seidenberg says he was an absolute force.
Any time hes out there, you want to have your best players against him, Seidenberg said following the Capitals series-clinching 2-1 overtime victory in Game 7. Hes very powerful and he puts his stamp on every game.
Every time youre out there you have to be careful hes not going to kill you. Any time he has the puck on his stick his quick release is so dangerous. You saw that on his shot off the faceoff in Game 6. Those little things make a big difference.
Ovechkin logged 137:38 of ice time in the seven-game series, second among Capitals forwards behind Brooks Laich 141:05. Ovechkin led the Capitals in points 5, hits 31 and shots 28.
Seidenberg said if Ovechkin continues to play a strong physical game and the Capitals continue to play the hard-edged style they showed in Round 1, there is nothing stopping them from making a long playoff run and erasing the memories of a difficult regular season.
Their season didnt go the way they expected, Seidenberg said. There were a lot of struggles, ups and downs. They fired their coach. They had a lot to go through and I think once they found their groove in the playoffs you could see how they can play defensive hockey while still using their dangerous offense.
You have to be careful when those guys are out there. We all know how dangerous they can be and they can beat anybody. They just need to play good defensively and a little bounce here or there could take them a long way. If they can play that way, why not?