The 5 Washington Capitals Records That Will Be Most Difficult to Break
One of the fun things about the start of any new NHL season is to take a look at your favorite team's list of records and try to guess which ones might fall.
Invariably, some records look quite breakable while others do not.
So it is with the Washington Capitals.
There are some really impressive individual accomplishments that will not likely get broken anytime soon. Then there are some individual marks which seem almost predestined to get shattered.
There are team records and milestones that do not look possible to eclipse. There are others that seem likely to tumble in the very near future.
Throughout their history, the Caps have fielded some really good teams, teams that scored a lot of goals or amassed a lot of points.
There have been superstars who have accomplished amazing feats and thrilled the fans along the way.
Which Washington Capitals records are the best? Which ones will be most difficult to break?
Here are five Caps records that we might not see broken anytime soon—if ever.
65 Goals in a Season
The record for most goals in a season by an individual player for the Washington Capitals is 65. Alex Ovechkin accomplished this feat during the 2007-08 season.
It is a record unlikely to be broken any time soon. It might never be broken.
When Ovi scored his 60th goal during the 2007-08 season, it was the first time in 12 years that an NHL player had accomplished that.
The only other player in Capitals history to score 60 goals was Dennis Maruk, who netted exactly 60 during the 1981-82 season.
Since Ovechkin scored those 65 goals in 2007-08, the most goals scored by any player in the NHL has been 60 by Steven Stamkos during the 2011-12 season.
In the entire history of the NHL, the 60-goal plateau has been reached only 39 times. If you review that list, you will see a lot of appearances from names such as Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Mike Bossy, Brett Hull and so forth.
At the moment, there is no one in the Caps organization—including Ovechkin himself—who looks even remotely capable of scoring 60 goals. Getting to 50 goals might be difficult even for him.
Even the best of the Caps prospects do not seem to hold the promise of coming anywhere near 65 goals.
Tom Wilson? Not a chance.
Evgeny Kuznetsov? Very highly unlikely.
Andre Burakovsky? I don't think so.
No, the Caps' record of 65 goals in a season is one that looks pretty safe, and it just might never be broken.
136 Points in a Season
The Capitals' record for most points in a season by an individual is 136. Dennis Maruk accomplished this during the 1981-82 season.
If Alex Ovechkin's record for most goals in a season is going to be a tough one to break, this one will be even tougher.
For those who do not remember him, Maruk was not a big guy, standing only 5'8", weighing just 165 pounds and sporting a unique Fu Manchu moustache.
But when Maruk laced up the skates and got down to business, there were not many better than him.
Maruk had originally been drafted No. 21 overall by the California Golden Seals franchise in 1975. He would go with the Seals to Cleveland to play for the doomed Barons franchise. But once he arrived in D.C. in 1978, Maruk's career would explode.
With great speed and a nose for the net, Maruk began to redesign the Washington Capitals' offense to his liking. He had a great slap shot and an even better wrist shot. He was also quite adept at creating breakaway opportunities, and when he got those opportunities, he usually cashed in.
Maruk's arrival would coincide with the Caps beginning to threaten for a playoff berth. This was readily apparent during the 1980-1981 season when Maruk would be teamed up with Mike Gartner and Ryan Walter on what was termed the "Roaring 20's Line."
The Roaring 20's Line would transform the Caps, and Maruk would have a tremendous season with 50 goals and 47 assists.
The 1981-82 season would be even better. Maruk would score a phenomenal 60 goals and assist on 76 others. This was the season where Maruk set the Caps' single season points record with 136.
There have only been 30 men in NHL history who scored more points than Maruk did in 1981-82.
Consider for a moment that even when Alex Ovechkin was re-writing the Caps record books when he first burst onto the scene, the most points he scored in a season was 112 in 2007-08, a full 24 points off the mark.
No, it seems very unlikely that Maruk's record for most points in a season will never be broken.
73 Games Played in a Season
One of the more interesting Washington Capitals records is the record for most games played in a season by a goaltender.
Olaf Kolzig set this mark by playing in 73 games during the 1999-00 season. Is it any real surprise that Kolzig holds this mark? Olie the Goalie is pretty well accepted by Caps fans as the greatest goalie in the history of the franchise.
There has never been a goalie quite like Kolzig as far as Caps fans are concerned. In 2004, to celebrate the Caps' 30th year in the league, the fans voted on the top 30 players in franchise history.
Olie was No. 1.
What can you say about the amazing career of Kolzig? Although Kolzig played in a backup role for the Caps from 1992-1997, it was the magical season of 1997-98 when Olie solidified himself as the Caps' starting goaltender—and created a legend for himself among Caps fans.
That was the season where Kolzig led the Caps to the Stanley Cup Final, outplaying Dominick Hasek along the way. He compiled a record of 33-18-10 that season with five shutouts, a 2.20 goals-against average and .920 save percentage.
During the Caps' memorable playoff run, he went 12-9 with four more shutouts, a minuscule 1.95 goals-against average and a .941 save percentage.
Kolzig would then go on and remain the Caps' starting netminder through the 2007-08 season. He would compile a record of 301-293-63-23 during his career with the Caps, including 36 shutouts, a career goals-against average of 2.71 and a career save percentage of .906.
As for the playoffs, Kolzig posted a record of 20-24 with seven shutouts, a 2.14 goals-against average and a .927 save percentage.
Compared to the first two records we looked at, this one could conceivably be broken, but it still won't be easy.
Since Kolzig left the Caps after the 2007-08 season, the most games a Caps goalie has played in a season was 57 by Jose Theodore in 2008-09. That is still a full 16 games short of the mark.
As far as the rest of the NHL goes, though, the 73-games-played mark has been beaten several times.
Pekka Rinne and Jonas Hiller both had 73 starts in 2011-12.
Cam Ward played in 74 games in 2010-11.
Martin Brodeur played in 77 games in 2009-10.
Miikka Kiprusoff played in 76 games in 2008-09.
So, quite obviously, that record can be broken. But do either Braden Holtby or Michal Neuvirth look like likely candidates? As much as Holtby played last year, he was on pace to only play in 61 games if a full season had been played.
Perhaps a future goaltender will challenge the mark Kolzig set in 1999-00. But it will still be a difficult record for any goalie down the road to break.
8 Straight Games with a Goal
During the Caps' very successful 2008-09 season, Mike Green set not just a Washington Capitals record but a new NHL record as well.
Green scored a goal in eight consecutive games, setting a new record for an NHL defenseman.
You can relive this tremendous streak in the video included with this slide.
As can be seen, Green was absolutely lethal on the power play. He always seemed to be in the right place at the right time, and during the streak, he was every bit as dangerous a player as Alex Ovechkin.
In general, the entire 2008-09 season was something special for Green. He would end the season with a phenomenal 31 goals. That has Green tied for 11th as far as most goals in a season for a defender. He shares this spot with players such as Denis Potvin and Ray Bourque. That's not bad company to keep at all.
This will be a record that will be very difficult to beat, though it's not impossible. When Green set the record, the previous mark had stood for nearly 25 years. Two-way defenders are certainly more prevalent during this modern era of hockey.
But if you look at the list of the most goals in one season by an NHL defenseman, you will quickly note that of the top 20 such defenders, Green's effort during the 2008-09 season is the only one on the list containing a defenseman from this millennium.
In all likelihood, it will be another 25 years before anyone beats the rather impressive record set by Green in February of 2009.
121 Team Points in One Season
Thus far, we have looked at some rather impressive individual records that have been set by some great Caps players over the years.
But perhaps the one record that will be hardest to break is the one the Caps set as a team during the 2009-10 season.
The 2009-10 Washington Capitals were not just good—they were great. They won the Presidents' Trophy with a record of 54-15-13, amassing 121 points along the way and becoming the first non-Original Six team to crack the 120-point barrier.
By far and away, the 2009-10 Caps were the best Caps team ever, as far as the regular season was concerned. To put this into perspective, there were some truly good Caps teams in the mid-80s. The best of the lot was the 1985-86 team, and that squad finished with just 107 points.
Now, sure, 107 points is a great season by most standards. Yet it is still 14 points short of the amazing mark set by the Caps in 2009-10.
On a league-wide basis, 121 points is going to be a tough mark to match. Since the dawn of the new millennium, only two teams have cracked the 120-point barrier. One of them obviously was the 2009-10 Caps. The other was the 2005-06 Detroit Red Wings, who amassed a staggering 124 points that season.
The four best recent performances other than the 2005-06 Red Wings and 2009-10 Caps were 118 points by the 2000-01 Colorado Avalanche, 117 points by the 2010-11 Vancouver Canucks, 117 points by the 2008-09 San Jose Sharks and 116 points by the 2001-02 Red Wings.
It is a rare feat, indeed, for a team to compile 120 points in a season, and with parity becoming somewhat more of a factor in the modern NHL, having a team be dominant enough to reach that milestone is something we will likely only see perhaps once a decade.
Whether a future Capitals team can come along and be that dominant remains to be seen.
It sure does not seem too likely.