2011-12 Year-End Review: Keith Aucoin

Photo credit: Clydeorama

Keith Aucoin‘s call-up was a side effect of the Great Center Drought of 2012, that point in time when all of our centers were either dead, or wingers disguised as centers. Even when the Caps are in need, they don’t typically send for Aucoin, but they did this year — and to the surprise of most people, Aucoin became a regular player, even into the postseason. We liked this, because Aucoin is a good guy who has been in our system for a long time, and because we love to be surprised. Go, tiny Cap.

Cap Hit: $512.5 thousand. Aucoin is UFA this July.

Milestones: Played more then 20 NHL games in a season for the first time in since 2007-08, had his first-ever NHL playoffs point. Also, had his first baby.

Photo credit: Sweetest Hockey on Earth

Best Moment: Three-assist night against the Islanders. We hear he was so hot that night that he helped an old lady across the street later.

Things We Said About Keith Aucoin: “Please do not get stepped on.”

Alignment: Lawful Neutral

First Irrelevant Google Images Result:

Media Consensus: “We appreciate you more or less for what you are, but we would appreciate you more if you got off the power play.”

Alternate Universe Superhero Identity: The Coin

Spirit Animal: This mouse.

Team Role: Emergency depth player, Washington Capital when the Caps are in “whoever can stand gets a jersey” mode.

Execution of that Role: Much better than expected. Keith is subject to all those pieces of conventional hockey wisdom that say you can’t ride if you are not This Tall, but he did everything asked of him in his time with the Capitals, and did it better than many of those who would be his competitors for a jersey. In short, he stuck.

Postseason Performance: Aucoin was able to find some chemistry with Mike Knuble and Joel Ward on the fourth line, though he only contributed two assists throughout.

Beard Rating: Five out of ten.

Photo credit: Cheryl Nichols

As we have discovered in years past, Keith Aucoin’s facial hair basically does whatever it wants.

Likeliness to Return: Likeliness to return to the Caps’ system, seven out of ten. His contract expires this summer, but he’s been a star in Hershey for a long time and it’s likely they will try to hang onto him. Likeliness to return to the Caps…we’ll say three.

Usefulness in a Post-Apocalyptic Setting: Well, he seems to be awfully tough to squish — the cockroach of post-apocalyptic companions. Seven out of ten.

Other: Dear Hershey Bears: We are really sorry that we took your top-line center for the last third of the year, hope you weren’t using him, sucks to be a farm team sometimes. Love, RMNB

Overall Year-End Rating: Six Good Sashas.

Tagged with:
  • Like “Alignment: Lawful Neutral.” Would have preferred THAC0

  • no one does THAC0 anymore, nerd

  • You are lucky my +5 Vorpal skating blade is in the shop.

  • Where are the cheetos? Can I have some Mountain Dew?

  • SO_CAL_Brat

    Haha! “Execution of that role: In short, he stuck.” …..Get it….In Short…..


  • Nate Hays

    This is my least favorite post of the year. How can you trash a player that works as hard and is as skilled as Aucoin? The guy never got a fair shake in the league.

    Aucoin averaged a point scored every 27 minutes played, and that was on the 4th line . To draw a comparison, Marcus Johansson recorded a point every 29 minutes played, and he played primarily second line minutes. In fact, Keith Aucoin was the fourth most efficient forward on the team in terms of point production, behind only Ovechkin, Semin, and Backstrom. To make things more impressive, every other regular member of the fourth line experienced dramatic dips in production this year.

  • we need to add a charisma stat in here.

  • Ana

    Nate: It was not my intention to trash Aucoin at all. I love the guy and I think he did great work with the team this year.

  • Rhino40

    Gold Coin! Gold Coin!! Gold Coin!!!

  • The review seemed juvenile. Why use snark about his height to comment on his play? Are teenagers writing for this site?

  • Simon,

    We do have teenagers writing for this site, but Ana is not one of them.

    If this review seemed juvenile, that’s an unfortunate side effect of it being deliberately juvenile.

    This is a fun review of the cultural impact of the player. Enjoy it, but don’t confuse it for what it isn’t.

  • Nate Hays

    Ana, I’m convinced that wasn’t your intention, but it comes across as patronizing at the very least. The guy spends years working his way through the minors, completely dominating in the AHL, and he doesn’t get a fair shake for more than emergency duty because of his size. He made the best of his chances with the team this year, putting up solid numbers playing next to fourth-liners (most of the time), potentially earning himself an NHL roster spot somewhere next season, and what’s the prominent thing his own fans talk about? His size. I understand that his diminutive stature is unusual in the league, so it’s difficult to not mention it. But Ward is the only black guy on the team, and I’m sure you’d find it tasteless to repeatedly point that out throughout the “Ward Year End Review”, and for good reason.

    Here’s what I’ve taken from this Keith Aucoin year in review: He’s still small. He was called up when the Caps were so hard pressed for talent that they had no choice but to offer this little guy a sweater. Again, I’m certain that wasn’t your intention, and there are clearly worse things that can be said about a guy, but Aucoin has earned massive respect for his contributions to every Caps fan’s second favorite team, the Hershey Bears (not to mention the Bears fans who couldn’t give a crap about the NHL). When Helmer played with the Caps for a stretch, people talked about his unseen leadership contributions to the young Capitals in the system playing for Hershey, and he was only with Hershey for two years. Good thing for Helmer that he was 6’1″.

  • Nate,

    It seems you are willfully deafening yourself to the tone of this piece.

    Enjoy the jokes and have a good day.

  • Nate Hays

    Peter, you’re copping out rather than having honest disagreement. I enjoy your blog, and I understand the “defend the piece against all comers” mentality. But I do have a point here, and you’re washing over it while you defend your writer. My point is a casualty of the bigger picture in your mind, and such is the nature of your position.

    My intent is not to become at odds, but to simply point out that some people see this as patronizing and minimizing of a dedicated professional athlete’s life long efforts and dreams. No big deal if he plays for the Flyers, but he plays for our team. I am not the only person who feels this way. My suggestion isn’t an attack of the character of the writer, and I make no assumptions of her intentions. You have decided to make assumptions of my intentions by suggesting that I’m “willfully deafening myself to the tone of the piece”. So am I to assume that you are insulting my intelligence, or my character? My arguments are not far fetched by any means.

  • Chris

    Nate I agree with you 100%.. Thanks for sticking up for the little guy..