Monthly Archives: September 2011

Young Guns II, By the Numbers

Hockey is a fluid and complicated game. Sabermetrics’ VORP and OPS and WAR seem to fit baseball well, if a bit coldly. Hockey doesn’t lend itself to discrete analysis the same way baseball does — for baseball, at its core, is a very individual sport when compared to hockey’s constant interaction between players on the ice (not to mention 18 players on each team changing lines on the fly).

Still, observational and emotional analysis can benefit from a reexamination; stats aren’t the end-all of analysis, but sometimes delving into the numbers can shed a different light on a debate. I will try to avoid, as Andrew Lang once wrote, using statistics “as a drunken man uses lampposts — for support rather than for illumination.” Continue reading

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Posted in Washington Capitals | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

It Feels Like … Preseason

Wins in preseason expire stats-wise in a matter of weeks, but for a team that’s gone 5-1 and 4-2 in the last two preseasons, a first win in four games has to be somewhat important, right? The Capitals’ Jay Beagle … Continue reading

Posted in Jay Beagle, Washington Capitals | 5 Comments

Killer Chronicle: A Weekend of Fun On and Off the Ice in D.C.

Probably about two  months ago, reading something on this blog, I first learned of the first-ever Capitals Alumni game. I fly into town this week to participate, and I’ve been looking forward to Friday night pretty much all summer. As … Continue reading

Posted in Capitals' greats of the past, Hockey fights, Hockey hearts, Hockey Heroes, Kettler Capitals Iceplex, Kevin Kaminski, Washington Capitals | 4 Comments

Dissecting the Caps’ Style: Tilting the Ice

Scotty Bowman emphasized speed for his Stanley Cup winning Montreal Canadiens. Herb Brooks preached conditioning for his 1980 Olympic gold-medal USA team. Up until last season, we thought we knew the playing style blueprint for Bruce Boudreau hockey clubs. But … Continue reading

Posted in Brooks Laich, Bruce Boudreau, Washington Capitals | Leave a comment

Collins Talks Training, Conditioning Test, And What He Learned from Last Season’s Call Up

They were the five games that changed Sean Collins’ summer. Called up from the Hershey Bears to the Washington Capitals last year at the end of the regular season, Collins logged around 64 minutes of ice time for the Capitals … Continue reading

Posted in Sean Collins, Washington Capitals | 1 Comment

Holtby: I Really Want To Prove My Time Up Here Wasn’t A Fluke

Part of maturing as a professional athlete is figuring out what routine and mindset make you play consistently at the top of your game. For being only 22, the Caps’ Braden Holtby sounds like he has a lot figured out already.

Braden Holtby wearing the Hardhat
(Photo by @cnichols14)

This summer, the major change to his offseason routine was actually allowing himself to rest more—counter-intuitive for someone who’d usually start working out as soon as he got home in the offseason. Holtby felt, however, that pushing himself too far in the summer affected his play in the second part of the season… Continue reading

Posted in Braden Holtby, Washington Capitals | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Toss Me a Hoodie, for Hockey’s Here at Last

Across the Mid-Atlantic winds of change seemed to sweep away summer last night. Vacationing on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, I took the dog for a walk this morning in layers of clothing, attire I hadn’t needed since early last spring. It … Continue reading

Posted in Alexander Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, Bruce Boudreau, Dave Steckel, Matt Bradley, Morning cup-a-joe, Training camp, Trap hockey, Washington Capitals, Washington the hockey town | 1 Comment