The Washington Capitals made a trade this week, picking up Jason Chimera from the Columbus Blue Jackets for Chris Clark and Milan Jurcina. Given that I spent all weekend putting together a spreadsheet trying to approximate the Goals Versus Threshold that Puck Prospectus uses to give an idea of a player’s contributions, I thought it would be a good time to put it to use. I wasn’t able to match their GVT exactly, but I got close enough to make the thing potentially viable.
First, on what GVT is:
“To explain in terms already familiar to sports statisticians, GVT is very similar to VORP in baseball: it is the value of a player, in goals, above what a replacement player would have contributed. The fact that GVT is measured in goals is crucial: statistics that divide up “Win Shares”, so that the ratings of a team’s players sum to that team’s number of wins, are very erratic and non-linear, since wins don’t increase or decrease linearly with team caliber. While hockey is ultimately about winning or losing, players’ contributions always come down to scoring goals and preventing them. A player cannot “win” a game, even though he may be put in a situation where scoring a goal or making a key save would create or conserve a win. Each player’s role, no matter his position, is to try and increase the goal differential in favor of his team. An offensive player who scores a hat trick only to see his teammates allow 4 goals against has nevertheless done his job; a goaltender who stops 39 of 40 shots only to lose 1-0 has likewise performed well. Using this standard, all players can be compared by the same yardstick: how much did they help (or harm) their team’s goal differential?…
GVT does not measure a player’s talent. The statistic measures a player’s contribution to his team’s goal differential. A goaltender that faces zero shots will have a value of zero, regardless of whether he is Patrick Roy or Andrew Raycroft. Likewise, a player that is injured or gets little ice time will see his GVT reduced accordingly. It also does not take into account environment: a player will score more with better linemates, and I make no attempt to adjust for that…
GVT does not measure intangibles. Things like leadership do exist in hockey, and they do help to make your teammates better. However, there is no way to measure this through statistics, and any attempt to quantify it is futile. In effect, we are not trying to see what information is “hidden” in the statistics; we are simply trying to better characterize the information that is at hand”
Alright, on to the trade!
Week two of The Frost King’s Webhits – out of 156* – has links looking at how well the Capitals’ goalies perform on the penalty kill, the diversified scoring of Washington’s forwards, which players excelled at scoring in the past decade, whether defense still wins championships, and a discussion about reforming the shootout system. Enjoy!
* My contract apparently goes through the end of time, which latest info says will be December 21st, 2012. Plan to start (and finish) your Christmas shopping a little early that year!
Gah! On pixel this looked like an easy match up. The Caps, second in the NHL and well atop the Southeast, should be able to lay down the smack on the last-place Canes for the third time this season. That sure as hell did not happen– as the Canes bested the Caps 6-3 and handed the home team their first loss inside the division all season. You could blame it on the distractions from today’s trade, a consistently incompetent defensive squad, or Jose Theodore’s top-heavy prettiness:goalstopping ratio; but the Caps got beat all around the phone booth tonight.
In a somber mood and somewhat nauseated from hot wings, let’s break it down:
The east coast seems to have all the NHL talent these days, so when two titans like the Caps and the Devils meet, we’re in for a good game. The two division champions have met three times already this season, and the Devils bested the Caps each time– dammit. When the puck dropped last night, the sold-out Verizon Center and dozens of fans across the Comcast SportsNet viewing area held their breath, wondering if we were to lose another to NJD …or if the real Capitals team would show up. Glancing up at the scoreboard in the waning minutes of the third period and seeing a 4-1, we can report with some certainty that it was the Stanley Cup contender Caps on the ice tonight.
Everybody gets a present tonight:
Last week the Capitals made an attempt to send Boyd Gordon to Hershey for a rehab stint, but with the blizzard-like conditions on the East Coast, he ended up everywhere else but Hershey.
Here’s the full horror story via Capitals Insider:
Maybe you have a worse travel experience from Snowmaggedon 2009, but I certainly would not have wanted to be in Boyd Gordon’s shoes this past weekend. The Capitals originally wanted him to go to Hershey for a rehab assignment this weekend, but the bad weather forced Gordon, who has played in just one game since Oct. 12 because of a bad back, to go on an adventure straight out of “Plane, Trains and Automobiles.”
He took a car service from Vancouver to Seattle, but nasty weather on the East Coast sent him on flights from Seattle to Atlanta to Orlando to Cincinnati before he finally gave up on the assignment all together and ended up in the D.C. area. Gordon couldn’t skate this morning because his equipment got lost in the shuffle during all the flight changes. The team is hoping his equipment arrives at Kettler by tomorrow and Gordon will return to the ice, but Boudreau said he wasn’t sure if Gordon would go on another rehab assignment this weekend.
So the Capitals tried to send him to Hershey again this weekend, with the Bears playing back to back home games against the Syracuse Crunch and Norfolk Admirals. This time, beyond the terrible rain and fog, Gordon made the trip up to Hershey safely, and because of Reader Kyle, we have photographic evidence that he’s still alive!
Well in his first game in a BEARS sweater since the 2006 Calder Cup playoffs, Gordon finished the game +1 with an assist. And from all accounts, he had a pretty solid game. Here were Kyle’s observations from the game – you know, since he was actually there and everything:
General Manager George McPhee just announced that the Washington Capitals agreed to a one year extension with superstar Left Winger Alex Semin. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed. Per Tarik El Bashir’s Blog:
Winger Alexander Semin has agreed to a one-year contract extension, GM George McPhee confirmed to me moments ago. Semin, who is in the final year of a two-year contract, would have become a restricted free agent July 1.
He will become an unrestricted free agent after the extension expires in 2011.
Does this setup an opportunity for the Capitals to actually resign Semin to a long-term deal next year? The Russian Machine thinks so. Remember, the Capitals still need to have the flexibility to handle Michael Nylander and his cap hit on the roster next year if something unforeseen happens, and this 1 year contract essentially buys them time.
Plus, it further allows the team to make sure this is an investment it wants to make. And with someone as enigmatic as Semin, this is smart. We applaud GMGM. Now let’s get Nicklas Backstrom signed to a 15 year deal!!
Update: It is a one year 6 million dollar deal and George McPhee said that Semin preferred the one year pact. McPhee also said that he’s trying to keep the team together and is interested in locking him up long term. Also, interesting perspectives: Puck Daddy Editor Greg Wyshynski and Capitals Beat Writer/Translator Dmitry Chesnokov say the Capitals have a two year window to win the Stanley Cup. Reading into their answers it makes me feel like a KHL Russian Team may make a serious run at Semin to get him to return to his native country once he’s a free agent next year.
Here is an interview between Dmitri Chesnokov and Alex Ovechkin that was published today on Sovetsky Sport’s Website and translated by Fedor Fedin. In this article, Alex Ovechkin addresses the Olympics, the Kovalchuk-to-DC rumors and his plans for the New Year. Take a look below. It’s a great read!
Look I might be an intellectual, but I’m not much of a reader. Hence why when I go over to Redskins Insider for my daily visit, I generally get bored after the 6th straight paragraph about how much Carlos Rogers sucks. I just can’t help it, you know? I guess it’s ADD.
But there are some things that I will force myself to sit down and read. And one of them is the new book written by both Tim Leone and Capitals Head Coach Bruce Boudreau called “Gabby: Confessions of a Hockey Lifer.”
Over the summer, our friends at Japers Rink pretty much sold us on the book after the first teaser. But then JP shared with us 4 more (Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5) , and we pretty much wanted to drive to the nearest Barnes and Noble and rip through all the bookshelves until we found it. But alas, the book wasn’t going to be released until the upcoming October, so I decided to play the waiting game and just get it then.
Well months passed by, and I tried to keep the book in the back of my mind, but I kinda just forgot about it. Well, that is until our other friends at On Frozen Blog mentioned that Bruce Boudreau was having a book signing on December 21st after practice at Kettler.
Oh, if I didn’t work in Columbia, I could just drop on by during lunch!! But taking a 3.5 hr lunch break wasn’t going to fly especially with having to have 6 websites done by the end of the year. Sigh.
Well, a few days ago, I posed a question to my Twitter Followers. I asked them “What’s the Best Thing About Caps Fans?” And here are some of the responses:
Other than Nicklas Backstrom’s terrible attempt at a water-color painting, we here at Russian Machine Never Breaks LOVE, LOVE, LOVE artwork. And so that’s why we love high schooler and avid hockey player Kaitlyn(Please follow her on Twitter).
After seeing one of her beautiful color-penciled masterpieces of the aforementioned Backstrom (shown to the right), the Russian Machine put in a special request for an Alex Ovechking drawing. And Kaitlyn sweetly obliged…
But the project was not without its own setbacks – as all artists can attest to. She even managed to put us through a whole gamut of emotions during the process (like only a high school girl could) as she updated her progress on Twitter:
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