NHLer For a Day: One Fan versus Alex Ovechkin

Jerry Moxley

Editor’s note: Reader Jerry Moxley is just your average, amateur hockey player, but he has got one of the greatest “meet your hero” stories we’ve ever read.

If you can make a living doing something you love, consider yourself lucky. I was able to take my interest in television and make a career out of it, but I put on my hockey skates too late to become more than a beer-league weekend warrior. With the birth of my second daughter, I decided to take more work on the side to pay the bills. One day, through Russian Machine Never Breaks and Carlyn Davis Casting, I learned that there was a commercial being filmed at my home rink in Laurel, MD that needed ice rink extras. I emailed the casting agency with the expectation that of a little extra money and maybe a spot in a blurry background somewhere. It turned out to be something bigger.

Continue Reading

Capitals Almost Back To Normal

ovechkin-celebrates

After a miserable eight-game losing streak, the Caps are finally starting to see some puck bounces go their way and are 5-0-1 in their last six. Good times ahead? We’ll see, but this is sure better than losing.

The scoring chances showed us this was just a matter of time. 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.

At even strength, the Caps put the scoring chances in their favor throughout the season, but when they failed to get the puck bounces to go their way it was a tough stretch of eight games. Once the bad luck started to even out, bringing their conversion percentage back to their season average, the Caps were able to right the ship:

Continue Reading

fehr-second-goal

Ovi tackles his teammates after Mike Knuble's second period goal.

Ovi tackles his teammates after Mike Knuble's second period goal. (Photo credit: Dave Sandford)

Photo credit: Gregory Shamus

After a year of build-up and three glorious episodes of HBO’s 24/7, the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins finally met at Heinz Field in front of 68,111 loud, screaming fans to compete in the 2011 Winter Classic. Much like the 39 games before and the 42 games to follow, this game counted the exact same amount in the standings: two points.

But both you and I know it meant waaaaaay more than that. You could see it in how the Caps played, celebrated and spoke after the game. This was the biggest game they had ever played in their NHL careers. And it showed.

At 8:17pm the first puck dropped. It would then take over twenty-two compelling game minutes to see the 2011 Classic’s first goal. In the second period, Marc-Andre Fleury made a routine stick save along the ice on Alex Ovechkin. Kris Letang then took the rebound and alertly flung the puck up ice where he found a streaking Evgeny Malkin. The Capitals’ defense, caught on a bad change, allowed Malkin to go in all alone on Semyon Varlamov. Malkin went five-hole and the the Penguins took a 1-0 lead.

Continue Reading