Caps Scoring Chances thru Oct 24, 2010

Semin scores, Perreault celebrates

Perreault’s debut yields two assists & a +7 scoring differential. (Photo credit: Clydeorama)

What a week. We saw the PK streak come to an end at 25, the Caps roster looks like a scene from M*A*S*H and even the owner called the team average. Then Atlanta got InSEMINated so my fervor for logging the chances of each and every game has been renewed.

scoringChanceDiagramMy definition as to what I consider a scoring chance is narrow by design – I am only looking to log quality scoring chances, not every shot directed at net. I look for a shot taken in the wedge shape pattern whose point is at the goal, extending outward through the faceoff dots and around the top of the circles. There is some great work being done on the topic of shot quality and as you’ll see in the diagram below, which has the latest 2009-10 Shot Quality data from Ken Krzywicki (including how shot type is not as significant as shot angle – neat stuff), there is a method to my madness.

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Alex Semin (3 goals) celebrates with Mathieu Perreault (two assists) after his 5th career hat trick.

Ovechkin (9 hits) may not have scored, but the Trashers certainly felt his presence. (Photo credit: Nick Wass)

Ovechkin (9 hits) may not have scored, but the Trashers certainly felt his presence. (Photo credit: Nick Wass)

The hat-tricker and the catalyst celebrate their line’s third goal of the night. (Photo credit: Nick Wass)

As the Capitals entered tonight’s game against the Atlanta Thrashers, everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. Semyon Varlamov could not make his scheduled start due to a flame-up of his #brittlegroin. Caps regulars Boyd Gordon (rest) and Marcus Johansson (hip flexor) could not dress due to nagging pains. And Tom Poti was a late scratch with an undisclosed injury.

The Caps, who had just lost two straight games to the Boston Bruins rather unimpressively, were forced to go with a patch-work lineup which included minor league call-ups Mathieu Perreault, Jay Beagle, & Dany Sabourin as well as a not-at-full-strength Mike Green.

When the puck dropped and the first period came to a close, the Capitals resembled the same struggling team that had lost Tuesday and Thursday. They were down 1-0 and the Thrashers outshot them 13-4..

Things quickly got rectified in the Caps lockerroom, however. “Kanoobs had a little speech,” Michal Neuvirth explained post-game. “[After his talk] we were getting better every minute. …We dominated in the third period. He just wasn’t happy with our effort. …We’re getting outshot on home ice. It just can’t happen.”

The Capitals then came out and outshot Atlanta 40 to 14 the rest of the game. Riding an Alex Semin natural hat trick, two assists from fan-favorite Mathieu Perreault, and a clutch backhand gwg from Flash, the Caps trash the Thrash in OT, 4-3.

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EXCLUSIVE: Alan May has an iPad

photo 1 (1)

Hmm, what is that? Enhance quadrant J-7.

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Ovechkin With Love in the Nov. issue of GQ

You can find Ovi in this month's GQ Magazine, which features cast-members of Glee on the Cover.

You can find Ovi in this month's GQ Magazine, which features cast-members of Glee on the Cover.

This November’s issue of GQ magazine (on newsstands everywhere) contains a feature by Michael Idov about Alex Ovechkin called, “Ovechkin With Love.” Below we have included a few notable excerpts from the article. Topics include Ovechkin’s childhood, his adoration in DC, the nightlife in Moscow, and girls. Yes, Ovi finally goes on the record on which girls he likes more: Russian or American.


His may be the perfect face of the NHL: broad, broken-toothed, misshapen by countless on-ice collisions. An affable slavic caveman with an NHL Scoring Title. A dazzling highlight reel. And the Capital of the free world in his glove, blood-stained hand.

If only he had a Stanley Cup to go with it. Michael Idov tracks down Alex Ovechkin enjoying the off-season in Moscow: brooding, training, and finding solace in the arms of Mother Russia.

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Bruins beat Caps 4-1: Mortifying

Milan Lucic celebrates as John Carlson and Semyon Varlamov turn away in horror.

Varly looks like Robert DeNiro in Raging Bull only angrier. (Capture by @Caps_Girl)

Varly looks like DeNiro in Raging Bull, only angrier. (Capture by @Caps_Girl)

Milan Lucic and the Bruins are too much for the Caps to handle for a second straight night. (Photo credit: Mary Schwalm)

Every great song is about loss of some kind: loss of life, loss of a beautiful woman, or loss of that loving feeling. The Capitals should probably download some Righteous Brothers on their iPiddles about now.  Maybe some Chuck Brown to commemorate the miserable funk they’re in. Maybe some Hank Williams to soundtrack the drowning of sorrows. Or maybe some Dark Tranquility— you know, death metal: really brutal stuff to remind them of how brutal this game was.

What can we say?  Besides the last ten minutes, this was some of worst Caps hockey we’ve seen in more than a year. But we can’t deny that Bruins were truly dialed in, most of all due to senior goalie Tim Thomas, who stopped 38 of 39 Caps shots (a season high). But it must be said that the lion’s share of the shots he faced seemed predestined for his pads.  Not that he wasn’t terrific, but that Caps awfulness might have inflated that perception.

It seems unfair to pick any players out for bad performances; it was almost uniformly bad. Like last game, the Caps are still wracked by injury, direly missing Boyd Gordon and Mike Green in particular. Like last game, they struggled to clear the defensive zone and coordinate forward thrusts, often feeding avaricious Bruins perching on the forecheck. Like last game, they didn’t put pucks in the air against a virtuoso butterfly goalie who owned the low area. And just like last game, they were hoisted with their own petard. Bruins beat Caps 4-1.

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Outtake from Bruce Boudreau’s Hadeed Carpet Cleaning Commercial

It’s not often we get to peak behind the curtain.

The good people at Rosenberg Media were gracious enough to provide this outtake from their terrific, Penguin-bashing commercial spot for Hadeed Carpet Cleaning. Revel and absorb every last Stanislavskian detail of a master thespian in action. Ladies and gentleman, Bruce Boudreau:

No animals were harmed in the filming of this blooper, but one hockey coach was nearly stampeded.

By the way, when Russian Machine Never Breaks broke the original story, our site broke. Let’s do that again!

Thanks, Rosenberg Media, for the clip!

Alex Ovechkin and Tiesto at Fur Nightclub

Ovi poses with DJ Tiesto at Club Fur

Ovi poses with DJ Tiesto at Club Fur (Photo via @Love4Greenie)

The Washington Capitals must have wanted to party after returning from their rowdy victory in Nashville. On Saturday the 16th (and well into Sunday the 17th), several of the Caps enjoyed the company of the world’s greatest DJ, the Netherlands’ own Tiesto.

If you’ve heard electronic music in the last ten years, you’ve probably heard Tiesto. He’s perennially rated in the top five DJs in the world by various authorities, including the Winter Music Conference. While he’s not operating in the jock-jam vein (“progressive trance” might be the best label), Tiesto is immensely popular. Washington’s pre-eminent electronic music fan and sometimes hockey player, Alex Ovechkin, is an avowed fan.

So when Glow programmed Saturday night at Fur Nightclub and invited Tiesto to spin, Ovie must have dragged the guys along. In the steady drizzle of amateur photo and video from that night, we see several Capitals on stage and behind the table with Tiesto, whooping it up for the throbbing throng before them.

Follow us past the jump for photos, videos, and how Tiesto spent his Tuesday night.

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Bruins beat Caps 3-1: We’re Grumpy


The one bright spot: MoJo scores his first NHL goal. (Photo credit: Mitchell Layton)

The one bright spot: MoJo scores his first NHL goal. (Photo credit: Mitchell Layton)

Matt Hendricks makes sure Gregory Campbell remembers to never mess with #8 again. (Photo credit: Mitchell Layton)

In the first of their two games with the Boston Bruins, the Capitals continued to express the manifold problems plaguing the team in this still-new season. With an inert offense, a struggling defense, and an impotent power play, it’s no wonder that the Bruins left Verizon Center with a 3-1 win. At least the Caps can trumpet their flawless penalty kill unit.

David Krecji, Milian Lucic, and Matt Hunwick scored Boston’s goals tonight. Washington answered with only one, Ikea-bred rookie Marcus Johansson’s first as an NHL player. Of the Capitals 36 shots on net, it seemed most of which were targeted squarely at the bulk of Boston goalie Tim Thomas. We’ve been told that the goals will come, and we’re still waiting. Bruins beat Caps 3-1.

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Prospect Watch: Eakin Dominates, DeSimone Speaks

RMNB Prospect Watch

Ed. note – Like clockwork, Fedor Fedin and Roman Piontkovsky of GlobalCapsFans descend on the Russian Machine to provide their bi-weekly scoop on players floating outside the system (CHL, USHL, NCAA, KHL, LOLCATS).  Hold fast, as you’re about to enter Prospect Watch!

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Caps Scoring Chances thru Oct 16, 2010


Photo Credit: Elsa/Getty Images

With five games in the books, I survived my first week of logging scoring chances, including DVRing the game Saturday night and catching up Sunday. If you haven’t read it already, my first post explains what I consider a scoring chance. As always, you can see this spreadsheet on Google Docs where I update them every week.

The Caps are getting their money’s worth for Jeff Schultz, who hasn’t had a goal against yet – and that includes leading the Caps in PK minutes with only allwoing a paltry three scoring chances against a man down. When he signed the contract extension this summer, I wrote Schultz could be “one of the NHL’s best bargains two to four years from now. If not sooner.” So far, so good.

On the flipside we have John Erskine, who is the only Capital with a negative scoring chance differential in double digits. Put another way, the Caps give the opposition 2.5 more scoring chances for every 15 minutes Erskine is on the ice. Some of this can be explained because he is being used mostly in the defensive zone as Coach Bodreau’s shutdown blueliner. When John Carlson, the other half of this new shutdown pair is only a minus 2, what explains the rest of it?

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