Thursday, April 2, 2009

Capitals Milestones: 101 Points, Seven Points to History
and Greenie's 30

It was the turn of the century the last time the Capitals broke the 100-point marker. It was the year 2000, the Capitals earned 102 points, won the Southeast Division and then exited the playoffs in the conference quarterfinals.

Breaking 100 points isn't the only major accomplishment the Capitals have achieved this year. It's been a season full of story lines, milestones and heroic moments, but if 2007-2008 was the year of Ovechkin, then 2008-2009 is the year of Mike Green.

Green, who set a new NHL consecutive goals record this year, now is the first Caps defender to score 30 goals in a season since Kevin Hatcher did it in 1992-1993. His 18 power play goals also set a new franchise record for power play goals, breaking Hall-of-Famer Scott Stevens' record of 16.

Perhaps this weekend we should chant "NOR-RIS, NOR-RIS" instead of our usual "M-V-P" fanfare. Trust me, Greenie is deserving of it, the award and the chant.

But Green's accomplishments aren't the only milestones to be broken this season, and perhaps an even larger one is waiting to be bested. We're talking, of course, about the best Capitals single-season record.

The current mark is 107 points in 1985-1986. With five games left, and three wins needed to tie, the Capitals could not only tie the record, but put the mark as high as 111 points. With a schedule that includes two visits to Atlanta, one to Tampa and another to Florida, the record is likely to fall.

It's moments like these that make me think back to the fire-sale, watching beloved players leave for prospects and picks and wondering, "Is this going to work?"

For those of us who have been through the thick of it and stood by the team despite the horrid pre- and post-lockout years, take a moment to enjoy these last few games.

The team has earned the milestones and, by sticking by the team, the fans have earned the right to enjoy them.

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