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.
After Friday’s practice, Caps players — including Alex Ovechkin — met the Wish Kids they are playing for on Hockey Fights Cancer Night. Judging from the photos and video on social media, Nate Schmidt definitely had the most fun.
The Human Emoji first met with seven-year-old Amanda, who is battling leukemia, at his locker stall. The two chatted and then Schmidt worked the room. It was at that point, CSN Mid-Atlantic’s Jill Sorenson, noted that the magnetic Caps defenseman had become a “human jungle gym.”
Watch as several kids lay on top of him playing. It’s the best.
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.
The Washington Capitals hosted their 2016-17 regular season home opener in style Saturday with a special red carpet event. As cars provided by Lexus dropped players off on F Street, diehard Caps fans lined the entrance, hoping for a picture or an autograph with their favorite athlete.
The event started at 3:30 and was hosted by PA Announcer Wes Johnson, who served as the master of ceremonies. Johnson introduced players as they arrived while preselected fans walked the players down the red carpet. Many Caps, including Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Tom Wilson, Nate Schmidt, and Andre Burakovsky, posed for selfies with fans before going inside Verizon Center.
That afternoon, RMNB had two photographers at the event, myself and the talented Katie Snyder (who you can follow on Instagram and Facebook). Snyder is one of the Redskins’ home-game photographers and graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. Snyder also does a lot of freelance work, including family-based portraits.
On Thursday, Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov posted videos from a Capitals recent golf outing on social media. After chunking a large piece of earth out of ground, Ovechkin hit the golf ball a mile and celebrated like he just won the Stanley Cup. After a miracle putt from the green, Evgeny Kuznetsov did the same.
Friday, Nate Schmidt joined Mike Vogel for the team’s Rinkside Update and talked about how that team-building event went.
“Real good, our team ended up winning. We were the ‘four man scramble’ myself, TJ Oshie, Lars Eller, and Christian Thomas.” Schmidt said with a smile. “It was a lot of fun.”
Schmidt also talked about his preparation for the upcoming season, how it feels to be back with the same seven defensemen, and how he loves just chillin’ with the guys.
I have a full transcription below.
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