Finally, a win for all of their keeping-shots-down trouble. After the shot-giveaway parties in New York and Buffalo, the Caps put forth their third straight sub-30-shot defensive effort (vs. NYI - 21; vs. Pitt - 22; vs. TB - 29), and this time came away with a victory. Perhaps now we can put to rest our fears that the team was in danger of devolving back to the giving up of 40+ shots/game of yesteryears. Those little defensive slip-ups of a week to 10 days ago certainly gave optimism-haters like ESPN the fuel they needed to drop the Caps down in their seriously flawed power rankings (seriously, how do the New York "We Love to Lose 1-0" Rangers still merit such a high spot, #11?), and make snippy comments about losing skids. Of course, dropping is a relative term, since even at 3-0 the Caps could barely crack the top 20 in the Chris Berman network's eyes.
The penalty kill, now again featuring Boyd "Selke" Gordon, has also righted itself after a slight relapse and looks to be heading back to the heady early season era of 100%. The PP will join its special teams partner soon enough. There was at least some true pressure applied last night, again reminding us of the halcyon days surrounding the brilliant home opener. Like the Redskins' offense, there is simply too much talent to stay dormant forever.
Eight games, eight points (three ahead of those high-flyin', high-signin' Rangers). Not bad for a team waking up from its rebuild hibernation. Much better than some teams who should in theory be defending division titles.