Karl Alzner is not known for his offensive acumen, but this is a new year.
After Justin Williams could not find the back of the net on a breakaway, Karl Alzner took a pass from TJ Oshie and ripped a blistering slap past Mike Condon. The goal caused one young Caps fan to chuck his popcorn in celebration.
Barry Trotz shook up his defensive pairings a few weeks ago and in doing so he reunited John Carlson and Karl Alzner as the Caps shutdown defensive pair. Carlson and Alzner have skated just over 3,000 minutes together in their career, but only 212 of those minutes have been during the Trotz regime.
But 128 of those 212 minutes have come since the recent reunion. The pair has been Trotz’s first choice to shutdown the top offensive players on the Caps’ opponent any given night. Unfortunately for the Caps, the reunion isn’t going very well. The Caps are getting outplayed when they’re on the ice. This pairing either needs to be broken up or have the difficulty of their assignments reduced.
Late in the third period, the defensive pairing of Carlzner – John Carlson and Karl Alzner – went out for a shift together to keep the rallying Boston Bruins off the board. The Bruins had scored three unanswered goals to tie the game and were pushing for a fourth.
Then a disaster scenario played out. A Bruins player wound up and fired a shot from the point. The biscuit struck Karl Alzner in the slot and the Calgary native went down in a heap. NBCSN play-by-play man Mike Emrick thought Alzner was injured.
There’s no better way to mark the holiday season than with a photo of you, your family, your dogs, Santa Claus, and Santa’s little helpers. Especially when those little helpers just so happen to be Karl Alzner and Daniel Winnik.
On December 18th from 10am to noon, Lindsay Cadillac of Alexandria will be hosting a photo op with Caps players. Lindsay will provide the photographer, Santa Claus, and the famous athletes. All you have to do is show up and cheese at the camera. Perhaps the best part is that you can bring your dogs with you.
During interviews with the media, General Manager Brian MacLellan has routinely fingered the 2016-17 season as the Capitals’ last season in a two-year window to win the Cup. That’s because nearly half of the team’s roster will be due new contracts. TJ Oshie, Justin Williams, Daniel Winnik, and Karl Alzner will be unrestricted free agents on July 1, while Evgeny Kuznetsov, Andre Burakovsky, Brett Connolly, Dmitry Orlov, Nate Schmidt, and Philipp Grubauer are all restricted free agents.
With Brent Burns recently re-signing in San Jose for eight years, Karl Alzner is now set to become one of the top two defensemen on the 2017 UFA market. Nick Kypreos reported Saturday night during Hockey Night In Canada’s Headlines segment that Alzner could fetch a salary of up to $6 million per year on his next deal – a $3.2 million raise over his currently salary this season.
Happy Caps Canine Calendar Day! This morning, Taylor Winnik, the photographer of the newest Caps promotional offering, and Sue Bell, the director of the Homeward Trails Animal Rescue, stopped by Fox 5’s Good Day DC to promote the calendar. The segment was great, but the best part about it wasn’t what was happening on the TV, rather the reaction of those at home.
I’m talking specifically about the adorable Stella Alzner.
The Chicago Blackhawks celebrated Veteran’s Day with a beautiful pregame ceremony on Friday night. Army Chief of Staff, General Mark A. Milley, dropped the ceremonial puck. During the national anthem, 75 veterans joined the Caps and Blackhawks on the ice in an E formation. Each veteran had a hand pressed to their forehead, saluting the flag.
After the anthem completed, the veterans made their way off the ice and something incredible happened.
Peter introduced the weekly snapshot during the 2013 season. The snapshot is a weekly look at Caps players in a few key statistical areas. Looking at these numbers can help us not only analyze what has happened but also allow us to take a more educated guess as to what is going to happen in the future.
People have told me they feel intimidated by advanced stats or think they aren’t good at math, and so they’ve never tried to understand them. Here’s the good news: the stats are really easy to understand and use elementary school-level math.
Through the first nine games of the season, defensemen for the Capitals have accrued 15 assists. That comes to 38 percent of the total number of assists for the entire team. All six d-men who have suited up for the Caps have gotten at least two assists; only six forwards can say that. Even Karl Alzner has gotten on the scoreboard, recording the only two goals scored by Capitals defensemen this season.
This has all been by design (minus Alzner scoring). Washington’s defensemen have been more active in the Capitals offensive game on the rush and in the zone. Barry Trotz has been stressing the need to work the puck from high-to-low in the offensive zone for his entire tenure in Washington, and he — along with assistant coach Todd Rierden — doubled down on that point in training camp.
Here are the three things I’ve noticed that have made the Caps defensemen more productive this season.
Tuesday morning, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman released his latest 30 Thoughts column. Friedman had four bullet points about the Caps, including explanations into why this is the last chance for this current iteration of the team to win the Stanley Cup.
According to Friedman, Brian MacLellan is planning to offer new contracts for Karl Alzner and Evgeny Kuznetsov and it could get pricey.
“There are a lot of moving parts,” MacLellan told Friedman. “We’re not sure what the dynamic is going to be. There are so many questions…how we do (this season) is going to answer a lot of them.”
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