Tag Archives: Hockey

The Blind Spot

In hockey, net traffic and screens can be your best friend or worst enemy. Washington learned that the hard way Saturday in the 3-6 loss to Tampa. Traffic certainly didn’t account for all of Tampa’s scoring, but it appeared to … Continue reading

Posted in Adam Oates, Braden Holtby, John Carlson, Michal Neuvirth | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

A Committed Effort Downs A Rival

In the new league alignment, the Washington Capitals will be facing the New York Rangers six times in the 2012-13 regular season.

Based on tonight’s performance, the Caps will be just fine with that. Continue reading

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Kerry Fraser Makes One Final Call

Ah, the NHL referee: scorned as biased and incompetent, blamed for teams’ misfortunes, accused of sight deficiencies and births of questionable legitimacy.
Kerry Fraser’s paperback Final Call: Hockey Stories from a Legend in Stripes hit the shelves this week, and Fraser provide fascinating insights into being a professional referee. He shares some unique stories from his up-close view of thirty years of professional hockey.

For the most part, Ol’ Helmet Hair succeeds—yet he still missed some calls, as we Capitals faithful who chanted “Fraser Sucks!” might expect. And, as Fraser admits, he heard those chants loud and clear throughout his career. Continue reading

Posted in Dale Hunter, NHL, NHL referees, Washington Capitals | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

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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Not Everyone Can Live Off Ice Hockey

Here’s a terrific hockey-themed promotional video from the United Nations’ World Food Programme . . . clever ad for a good cause. Continue reading

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Joel Ward Never Has A Bad Day

Perhaps the most impressive thing about Joel Ward is his life motto.

Undrafted, college graduate, AHL veteran, the Capitals’ newly signed Ward knows the non-glamorous side to being a professional athlete. He told OFB that being a leader sometimes means stepping out of a personal comfort zone in order to get someone to listen. But then comes his life motto—”Never have a bad day”—and you understand what makes him stand out in a sports culture of NFL lockouts and hour-long sporting events dedicated to one player’s decision to change teams.

Ward told OFB he’s excited about the makeup of his new team and says it will be fun to watch guys like Mike Green, Alex Ovechkin, and Alexander Semin as teammates. And the Capitals fanbase has already made an impression on him from his time in an opposing team’s jersey. Ward described the Capitals’ fan support as unbelievable, gave a verbal stick tap to the sea of red jerseys , and talked about how he could see the passion among Capitals faithful. Continue reading

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Who’ve You Got?

As the pain of the Caps’ loss fades to a dull ache, I find myself watching the Bruins-Lightning series with great interest. It’s exciting stuff—unpredictable, fast-paced, and… confusing. Because while I’m a fan of neither team, I still like to pick a horse if I’m going to bother watching a race. Whom to pick?

My wife takes a simple yet elegant approach: root for whoever’s losing at that exact moment. Stay with that team while they’re losing or tied… then switch to the other team if the lead changes. Effective, if a bit murky before the game’s first goal. Continue reading

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