21 April, 2014

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.”

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 thinks so. “We play the game to win, so, preseason or not, you want to […]

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 soon as I learned about the game I knew that wanted to come right away, […]

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 in about the middle of last season, while mired in a prolonged losing streak, Boudreau […]

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 and made an appearance in at least one playoff game. It was enough to let […]

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…

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 felt good to be so bundled up. As recently as yesterday afternoon I wasn’t so […]

Winter Classic Sweater Is Caps’ “New” Third Jersey

The Washington Capitals will revel in retro this season: 16 away games will have the Caps in white throwback jerseys, with red pants and white helmets.

Per the Caps’ press release, here are the opponents who will see the old-school look… one can only hope that those teams with throwback sweaters of their own will follow suit (apologies for the pun). It would be great to see the Devils in their old pizza-box unis, the Habs rocking the stripes, and so cool if the Jets break out their original kit.

Change in Rookie Camp Shows Caps Emphasizing Conditioning From the Start

The Capitals added something new to their rookie camp this year, according to Capitals’ strength and conditioning coach Mark Nemish when he spoke to OFB Sunday: on-ice testing the first day of camp. Nemish said the change was about starting off on the right foot and serving notice that everyone means business. “We expect them […]

Confirmed: No Blu-Ray For 24/7 Penguins Capitals

For those of you who were holding off pre-ordering HBO’s “24/7 Penguins/Capitals: Road to the NHL Winter Classic” to see if HBO was going to announce a Blu-Ray version (as I was), wait no longer: HBO will be releasing Pens/Caps on DVD only.

HBO’s Sports Media Relations department confirmed that no Blu-Ray version is planned; they also pointed out that “this [will be] the first time a ’24/7′ has ever been available for purchase.” In other words, baby steps.