Caps beat Canes 3-2, Perreault’s Proboscis Pummeled

Perreault

Photo credit: Gregg Forwerck

Ouch. (Photo credit: John Carlson)

Ouch. (Photo credit: John Carlson)

The yuletide has receded, and the Washington Capitals have gotten back to work. Meeting the Carolina Hurricanes in snow-covered Raleigh, the Caps were out to test their mettle following that shootout loss to Pittsburgh on the 23rd.

Mathieu Perreault crashed the net in the first period, turning a sublime, unguarded puck from Alex Semin into the night’s first goal. In the second, Jussi Jokinen exploited a bad Caps line change to sneak one past Semyon Varlamov. Minutes later, Alex Ovechkin stormed through neutral ice and set up David Steckel to make the score 2-1. In the late second period, a bounce went finally went the right way for Ovi, who submitted the Caps third and final goal. The Canes attempted a comeback led by Jay Harrison/Tuomo Ruutu’s goal, but couldn’t get all the way. Caps beat Canes 3-2.

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Mathieu Perreault

I wrote a WaPo article discussing the emergence of Matty P, and fat_daddyo from Japers’ Rink asked me to compare the games where Matty P records a point to the games where he doesn’t. My first thought was the chances would be the same since the Caps have been pretty consistent during the year as a whole since it was their conversion rate (goals scored off of chances) that plummeted (from ~18% to ~6%) during their losing streak.

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Semyon Varlamov and Michal Neuvirth: Who you got?

There has been much debate over which young netminder should be the Caps number one option, with fans pledging their allegiance to either #TeamNeuvy or #TeamVarly, but I maintain it is not even close.

Looking at the scoring chance save percentage for each goaltender in different situations shows why Neuvirth seems to have the confidence of Coach Bodreau, even when the Caps were at their worst these last few games. Remember, I use a specific definition of what I consider a scoring chance based on shot quality data and log everyone who is on the ice at the time using the script from Vic Ferrari. As always, you can find the spreadsheet online – which I finally updated. Merry Christmas!

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The 2011 IIHF World Junior Championships, which will be held in Buffalo and Niagara Falls from Dec. 26 – Jan. 5, will feature the best of the best in junior hockey. Roman Piontkovsky, Alessandro Seren Rosso, and myself will tell you which Caps prospects will be fighting for their respective countries and what we can expect of them.

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Evgeny Kuznetsov: On The Ice With A Parachute

Evgeny Kuznetsov Traktor

Today, the World Junior Championships are set to begin in Buffalo, New York, and RMNB’s Igor Kleyner has translated a fantastic one-on-one interview between Sport Express’s Yuriy Golyshak and Capitals 2010 First Round Pick Evgeny Kuznetsov. Warning: it’s another long one.

In the article translated below, we learn even more crucial information about Kuz including his nagging shoulder injury, his thoughts on the slash Braden Holtby delivered to him during Caps Development Camp, and his experience being drafted by Washington. On top of that, we also learn about Kuznetsov’s half a year of driving without a license, his love for McDonald’s food, and his embarrassment on never seeing Alex Ovechkin play live. Check out all of that and more below the jump.

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