Caps vs Leafs Pregame: Look Out, You Rock and Rollers

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Big deal, Curtis. Anyone can point at an Edmonton goalie.

The deadline isn’t until Monday afternoon, but the Washington Capitals might already be done. After acquiring Tim Gleason and Curtis Glencross, the Caps current roster might be the same one we see in the postseason. Or maybe not.

Tonight’s game, at home against the Maple Leafs, is the organization’s last chance to evaluate their players before all sales are final. 7 PM on CSN.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 33-20-10 51.5% 100.3 23.3% 81.1%
Toronto Maple Leafs 25-32-5 46.4% 100.0 18.5% 82.0%

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Tim Gleason: Mike Green’s On-Ice Bodyguard

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Photo Credit: Gregg Forwerck

Hard to play against, tough customer, character guy: those were some of the hockey superlatives thrown around by Barry Trotz and his players when asked about Tim Gleason, the team’s newly acquired D-man.

“He’ll keep people honest,” Trotz told reporters at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. “You want to take a shot at Greenie, he can back it up.”

Yep, despite whatever my zany Russian political science professor and Some People on the Internet say, Mike Green isn’t going anywhere.

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Caps Acquire Curtis Glencross from Flames

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The Washington Capitals have acquired Curtis Glencross from the Calgary Flames in exchange for second-round and third-round picks in the 2015 draft.

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Week 19 Snapshot: Out Into Nothing

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From Capstagram, which is what I call it now.

I don’t know if what I’m doing with the snapshot is really “analytics.” Hearing all the buzz at the Sloan Conference and this mostly inane Deadspin piece, there’s a lot of stuff wrapped up in that term that don’t really apply here.

The snapshot isn’t about decision-making (we don’t make any decisions), and it’s definitely not a branding effort (it probably hurts the RMNB brand by being so stodgy). For me, these statistics are just new ways to understand the game.

My educational background is in literary criticism. In that field, people discuss writing using different frameworks (formalism, deconstruction, post-colonialism, queer, etc.). The goal isn’t to decide what writing is good or bad, but to appreciate the writing in new ways and learn more about it and ourselves by looking from different– and deeper– angles.

It’s not that much different for hockey. For some people, the only metric that matters is championships. It’s a simple binary: yes you won, or no you did not. Some go deeper: how far did you make it in the playoffs: zero rounds, one round, two rounds, or more (As a Caps fan, I suspect the “more” is a myth). More nuance, more understanding, but still nothing too deep. And then you can get down to wins. And then goals. And then shots. And then– and for some reason people resist this– shot attempts.

And there are layers of rich and complex data even further below, new angles from which to look. And when we acknowledge how that low-level information can bubble up to high-level results– like championships– we create an intellectual scaffold for richer understanding of the sport. It’s miles from the championship binary.

I see why some critics consider analytics to be a retreat from complexity: because it uses numbers, which are finite, instead of descriptions, which are not. It can seem reductive. But the spirit behind the analysis is quite the opposite: it’s a framework for looking deeper, and more closely– not to blithely draw conclusions.

In this week’s snapshot: No blithe conclusions. I’ll try.

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Ian and I got together on Saturday night instead of having social lives. We have assembled for you an hour and change of hockey chat. Maybe you can listen to it while you run errands today or while you’re stuck in traffic on Monday morning.

If you’re sick of us (and at this point, who isn’t?), we were joined by Katie Brown of District Sports Page to chat about the upcoming trade deadline. We also answered almost all your questions and accusations from Saturday afternoon and then we really went off the rails.

The RMNB Podcast is on iTunes. If you enjoy it, please subscribe and rate us.

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Photo: @nikkibrust

Last week, the Caps and Penguins played one of the most tense games of the season. It included a first-period brawl that spilled onto the Pens bench. For whatever reason, NBCSN showed us just one or two angles of the dust-up and then moved on. On Reddit, user beardyman22 shared a story that didn’t make it to air that night.

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Jack Hillen Gets No Respect (Photo)

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I’m busy baking mini-quiches in expectation of Ian coming over later tonight to record a new episode of the RMNB Podcast. We’ll be talking about the trade deadline, the playoffs, Ovi for Hart, and a lot more, but we need your input.

Please use the comments below to ask questions or share your thoughts on… well, anything really. If you like someone else’s question, please upvote it. Thanks!

 

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Photo: AP

With just a few days left before a trade deadline, managers around the NHL are comparing their teams to the rest of the league and looking for the pieces needed for a playoff run. With the new playoff format, it’s especially important to overmatch the division rivals you are likely to face early in the postseason.

The Caps, despite sitting just fourth in the Metropolitan division, keep up with the teams above them in most statistical categories. But there is one area in which they are struggling: the second line.

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Caps Trade Jack Hillen to Carolina for Tim Gleason

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Photo: Washington Capitals

Alex Prewitt of the Washington Post reported that Jack Hillen did not skate at practice this morning. Now we know why.

The Capitals have traded Jack Hillen and a fourth-round draft pick to the Carolina Hurricanes for defenseman Tim Gleason.

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