Alex Ovechkin: 2013-14 Season Review

Alex Ovechkin is the face of the Washington Capitals. In 2013-14 he scored more goals than anyone else. He also got more criticism than anyone else. Why? And what’s next for the world’s most explosive scorer, now about to play under his fifth coach and exiting his prime scoring years?

By the Numbers

78 Games played
20.1 Average time on ice per game
51 Goals
28 Assists
49.3% Shot attempt percentage during 5v5
36.2% Goal percentage during 5v5
6.0% On-ice shooting percentage during 5v5
90.6% On-ice saving percentage during 5v5

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Photo: GingerHockey

Alex Ovechkin and Team Russia have won the IIHF World Championship. The Russians defeated Finland 5-2 in the gold medal game to win their fourth title since 2008. Russian captain Alex Ovechkin scored the game-tying goal. Nashville’ goaltender Pekka Rinne kept the Finns competitive, but the Russians feasted on the power play, scoring four of their five goals when a man up.

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Dmitry Orlov: 2013-14 Season Review

Photo: Justin K. Aller

Dmitry Orlov‘s season didn’t get started until Thanksgiving, but once he got going he was darn good. Still, I can’t help but think that he’s not the kind of player we used to think he was.

By the Numbers

54 Games played
19.2 Average time on ice per game
3 Goals
8 Assists
51.3% Shot attempt percentage during 5v5
47.8% Goal percentage during 5v5
7.3% On-ice shooting percentage during 5v5
92.0% On-ice saving percentage during 5v5

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Steve Oleksy: 2013-14 Season Review

Of the 13 (!) defenders the Capitals used this season, Steve Oleksy outscored the opposition better than any of them, stayed about even in relative puck possession, and made everybody smile. So obviously he got put on waivers and sent down to Hershey.

By the Numbers

33 Games played
14.9 Average time on ice per game
2 Goals
8 Assists
46.6% Shot attempt percentage during 5v5
58.8% Goal percentage during 5v5
9.9% On-ice shooting percentage during 5v5
94.0% On-ice saving percentage during 5v5

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Our friends at Maple Leafs Hot Stove reached out to us last night to ask about a worrisome rumor. Darren Dreger reported yesterday that Adam Oates is being considered for a position as assistant coach in Toronto. We’re still unsure there’s any substance to the rumor, but I shared my thoughts on what that might mean for the Maple Leafs. Call it my last chance to go to the well. Now here’s an absurdly large link:

Five Questions on Maple Leafs Assistant Coach candidate Adam Oates

Thanks to the guys at MLHS for having me again.

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Michael Latta: 2013-14 Season Review

Michael Latta came out of nowhere (Nashville’s farm system) to bring dynamism to the bottom line this season. Latta didn’t get a lot of ice in his 17 games, but should he get another crack at the bigs this fall I think we’ll find that Latta is a legit NHL player.

By the Numbers

17 Games played
7.4 Average time on ice per game
1 Goals
3 Assists
48.2% Shot attempt percentage during 5v5
50.0% Goal percentage during 5v5
9.1% On-ice shooting percentage during 5v5
92.7% On-ice saving percentage during 5v5

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Brooks Laich: 2013-14 Season Review

Brooks Laich suffered a groin injury during the 2013 lockout that has changed the trajectory of his career.  The former 20-goal scorer now struggles to play a full schedule and struggles to justify his 4.5 million dollar cap hit. After an operation this spring, there are now two futures waiting for Laich: a return to glory is one. The path of Tom Poti is the other.

By the Numbers

51 Games played
16.9 Average time on ice per game
8 Goals
7 Assists
48.0% Shot attempt percentage during 5v5
45.5% Goal percentage during 5v5
7.6% On-ice shooting percentage during 5v5
92.5% On-ice saving percentage during 5v5

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Should the Washington Capitals Sign Ryan Miller?

After extending Brian Elliott on Monday, the St. Louis Blues appear unlikely to sign UFA goalie Ryan Miller. Miller, you recall, spent his entire career with Buffalo up until the 2014 trade deadline, when he jumped to St. Louis. Miller put up a .903 save percentage with the Blues over 19 games. I guess that was all Doug Armstrong needed to see.

Now, once again, we face an interesting question: should the Capitals sign Miller? Do they need stability in net before they can jumpstart their offense? Would an injection of experience even out a weary defense? Can he make the big saves in big games, which are definitely more important than the small saves in minuscule games.

Let’s weigh the matter carefully.

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Evgeny Kuznetsov: 2013-14 Season Review

It took four years, but Evgeny Kuznetsov finally suited up with the Washington Capitals. And with that, millions of Facebook commenters immediately stopped saying stuff like, “beleive it when i see it” and “already sick of his premadonna russian already [sic].” That alone made his season a success to me, but let’s consult the stats anyway.

BTW, today is Kuznetsov’s 22nd birthday!

By the Numbers

17 Games played
13.1 Average time on ice per game
3 Goals
6 Assists
42.3% Shot attempt percentage during 5v5
41.2% Goal percentage during 5v5
10.4% On-ice shooting percentage during 5v5
91.2% On-ice saving percentage during 5v5

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Don Sweeney, Paul Fenton, and The Great One

The Capitals’ search for a new general manager continues, and while the process is pretty hush-hush, some details have gotten out.

Elliotte Friedman’s 30 Thoughts column names several candidates for new Caps GM, including Don Sweeney, Paul Fenton, and Ray Shero. He also mentions that Wayne Gretzky could be brought in to run the organization:

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