Former Caps player and head coach Adam Oates has joined Twitter. That’s Adam Oates, hall-of-famer and scorer of 341 goals and 1079 assists. That’s Adam Oates, current skills coach to NHL stars across North America. That’s Adam Oates, who was summarily fired as coach after one and a half seasons in Washington.
That guy is on Twitter now.
The Capitals arrived in Montreal last night ahead of their game tonight against the Canadians. So what did the Caps Russians do? I’m glad you asked.
Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Dmitry Orlov, and Stan Galiev had dinner with former Capital/forever-Habs-scratch Alex Semin. We know this because Ristorante Bis owner Marcello Abate published a photo of the group together on Twitter.
New Capitals forward T.J. Oshie will wear No. 77, the team announced Monday.
Oshie wore No. 74 in St. Louis, but as you know defenseman John Carlson already owns those digits here in D.C. and was not giving it up.
Oshie tried to have a reasonable conversation about his new number on Twitter Thursday, but that was derailed by his new Capitals teammates.
Photo credit: Patrick McDermott
On Thursday night, Adam Oates was back behind the bench at Verizon Center for the first time since being fired at the end of last season. Much has changed since then. On this night, the Capitals were playing with sticks that were familiar to them and their coach was not giving his players the cold shoulder. But the most important change, at least on this night, came on defense. Oates instituted a defense system that required blueliners to give up the puck almost immediately after gaining it. This led to forced passes and a myriad of odd-man breaks against. It turned former Norris Trophy nominees like Mike Green into subject of ridicule. The Capitals defense, on the whole, was very bad.
This year, however, things are different. In offseason, new general manager Brian MacLellan added some much needed balance to the Capitals by signing Brooks Orpik and Matt Niskanen to big money deals. New coach Barry Trotz has also freed up its defensemen, allowing them to carry the puck when necessary. This has led to a resurgence for Green, who has 39 points this season. Other blueliners have also chipped in. Through 73 games, Karl Alzner had more than doubled his career high in goals and surpassed his career high in assists.
Against the Devils, Alzner added his fifth goal of the year in a decidedly un-Oatesian way.
Karl Alzner just scored his fifth goal of the season and the 12th goal of his career.
The goal came in the first period against the New Jersey Devils (Roy Rogers alert). Alzner joined the attack, which I hope Devils coach Adam Oates hated, and hit the back of the net from below the circles.
Saturday night before the Los Angeles Kings took on the Vancouver Canucks, Sportsnet’s Hockey Night In Canada panel provided priceless insight on the upcoming Western Conference showdown.
“Adam, thoughts on the game,” host George Stroumboulopoulos asked, tossing it to former Caps head coach Adam Oates.
“Where’s your secondary scoring, [Los Angeles]? Other than the 70’s line, you’ve got to get it going,” Oates said. “And you’ve had a Stanley Cup hangover, it’s time to get going. Everybody [needs to] start chipping in.”
Naturally, Stroumboulopoulos wondered how long a Stanley Cup hangover should actually last. So he asked Oates.
I’m really excited about the upcoming Caps season. After replacing Adam Oates with Barry Trotz, I predict the Caps will– finally– reverse their five-year decline and start to get better in 2014-15.
But people who expect a coaching change to immediately transform the team into a Cup contender won’t find solace in the literature.
Teams changing coaches saw their Fenwick Close % increase about 0.35%; after a coaching switch, teams averaged one more Corsi attempt for and 0.4 more Corsi attempts against per 60 minutes, and saw very slight decreases in shooting and save percentages.
Long-term, there seems to be a 1-point boost (from 48.4% to 49.4%) once a team replaces its coach.
By that math (and before accounting for roster changes) we might expect the Caps to have around 48-percent puck possession next season. That would kind of suck. I’m a bit more optimistic.
At 7:45 pm, Alex Ovechkin was awarded his fourth Maurice “Rocket” Richard trophy for leading the league in goals. Instead of getting invited on stage, Ovechkin was interviewed at his seat by new Hockey Night In Canada host George Stroumboulopoulos.
Ovi said he was excited for himself and his team– and his coach… who doesn’t have a job anymore. So. Yeah.
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