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The Definitive Guide to Unofficial 2016 Washington Capitals Out of Town Stanley Cup Playoffs Viewing Parties
Fans have been posting online about getting together in various cities to watch Caps games during the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Here you’ll find all the viewing party-related posts we know about so far.
Some of what’s listed below are gatherings that have already been coordinated and others are as simple as fans asking who else near them knows of a good place to meet up with other Caps fans to watch the games.
Our posts have been sporadic lately, but we’re still regularly publishing Caps content elsewhere on the web.
Margaret still writes about the Caps for The Hockey Writers.
A good way to keep up with our regular Caps writing elsewhere is to follow each of us on Twitter.
Here’s where you can follow Margaret.
Here’s when you can follow Pat (that’s me).
Here’s where you can follow Mike.
We still plan on creating content here on Brooks Laichyear. But there may be periods where our updates are less frequent than they’ve been this season as we’re busy publishing Caps content elsewhere. Follow us each on Twitter if you want to keep up with our writing on other sites.
The Caps played poorly but still gained a point in overtime, with the Flyers winning by a score of 3-2. Caps goals were scored by Alex Ovechkin (21) and Nicklas Backstrom (13). The Flyers had the better of even-strength shot attemps, 55-47. The chart below shows shot attempts, adjusting for score states. As you can see, the Flyers had the better of shot attempts, when adjusting for score.
Even strength #fancystats
-Niskanen led the Caps with a +8 on-ice shot attempt differential
-Carlson had the worst shot attempt differential at -20
-Niskanen was on the ice for the most Caps shot attempts (21)
-Carlson was on the ice for the most shot attempts against (36)
-Green, Chimera, and Wilson faced the easiest zone starts, starting 100% of shifts in the offensive zone
-Johansson, Brouwer, and Kuznetsov faced the toughest zone starts, starting just 20% of shifts in the offensive zone
-Nate Schmidt, possession monster, update: HE HATH BEEN FREED. Schmidt posted a +5 shot differential and started 75% of his shifts in the offensive zone.
-Ovi kicked off scoring with a power-play goal, his 21st tally of the season.
-You know who else (almost) scored a goal? Karl Alzner. He and Jay Beagle have set career highs in goals. Do with that information what you will–Pat makes a good argument that Alzner is very tradeable.
-On the flip side, Sean Courtier’s goal was pretty bad for all parties involved, except for Sean Courtier.
-Braden Holtby has made 23 appearances. In a row. This sets a franchise record.
Thanks to hockeystats.ca for the stats.
The Caps crushed the Leafs, 6-2. Caps goals were scored by Marcus Johansson (11), Eric Fehr (12), Brooks Laich (5), Johansson again (12), Fehr again (13), Ovechkin (EN, 20). The Leafs had the better of the even strength shot attempts, 55-44. The chart below shows shot attempts, adjusting for score states. As you can see, the Caps had the better of shot attempts, when adjusting for score.
Even strength, score-adjusted shot attempt chart:
Even strength #fancystats
-Johansson led the Caps with a +6 on-ice shot attempt differential
-Jack Hillen had the worst shot attempt differential at -7
-John Carlson was on the ice for the most Caps shot attempts (21)
-Carlson, Hillen, and Mike Green were on the ice for the most shot attempts against (20)
-Jay Beagle faced the toughest zone starts, starting just 25% of shifts in the offensive zone
-Johansson and Evgeny Kuznetsov faced the easiest zone starts, starting 100% of shifts in the offensive zone
-Nate Schmidt, possession monster, update: The Schmidtuation continues.
-This was the best game Johansson-Kuznetsov-Brouwer have had as a line.
-Braden Holtby continues to be outstanding for this team. Let’s give him the night off tomorrow, eh?
-Haha, Dion Phaneuf, don’t ever touch Ovechkin again. Remember when the narrative was that Tom Wilson on the first line allowed Ovechkin to feel more comfortable? The only protection Ovechkin needs is Ovechkin.
-Fehr was sniping tonight. How about giving him a try in the slot on PP2 instead of Ward?
Photo by Amanda Bowen of RRBG Photography
The Caps chose to spend the majority of their offseason cap space on defense. This meant that Mikhail Grabovski’s time in D.C. was over after just one season. Despite an ankle injury that limited him to 58 games, Grabovski had a successful campaign in a Caps’ uniform.
The Caps saw 4% more of total shot attempts with Grabovski on the ice than when he was on the bench, top among all forwards on the 2013-14 team. His 1.8 points per 60 minutes of 5v5 ice time was third among all qualifying Caps forwards. That being said, when it comes to Grabovski as a Caps player, it’s far past time to let it go.
But, with the Caps traveling to pay Grabovski and the Islanders a visit on Monday night, let’s take a quick look at how Jeremy Roenick’s favorite player is doing this season.
Grabovski has 5 goals and 7 assist in 32 games so far this season, which isn’t terrible, but is fairly pedestrian. However, as I mentioned in the week preview, he is leading all Islanders forwards in possession, with a 55.3% shot attempt%.
Part of the reason Grabovski’s production is a bit below where we’d expect it is because he has zero points on the power play this season. A closer look shows that the Islanders are shooting an absurdly low 3% on the PP when Grabovski is on the ice this season. So, in other words, Grabovski is getting the Alex Ovechkin treatment in terms of on-ice shooting% while the Islanders are up a man.
Another possible factor in his so-so production is that Grabovski starts 11.7% more shifts in the defensive zone than his average teammate, which is tops on the Islanders. So, he’s their best possession player while also being given the toughest relative zone starts. Not too shabby.
It’s pretty tempting to finish this post up by talking about money that the Caps spent on a certain defender that they could have spent on Grabovski. Temptation resisted. Grabovski was a joy to watch play for the Caps last season. It’s great to see that he’s doing well with the Islanders.
Stats from War on Ice
The Caps lost to the Panthers 2-1 in a shootout that went 843 rounds and featured a ridiculous dangle by Brooks Orpik. What a weird night. The Panthers had more 5v5 shot attempts, 43-41.
5-on-5 shot attempt chart:
-The 5v5 sample from this game was just over 53 1/2 minutes.
-Eric Fehr led the Caps with a +7 on-ice shot attempt differential
-Marcus Johansson and Evgeny Kuznetsov had the worst shot attempt differential at -9. Linemate Troy Brouwer was just behind at -8. Time to break up the second line. Nothing doing there for too long.
-Further on that point, those 3 forwards had 1 total shot attempts between the 3 of them (Kuznetsov).
-Alex Ovechkin had the most individual shot attempts with 6
-Nate Schmidt, possession monster update: 50% ZS% an even 0 in on-ice shot attempts
-Mike Green’s turnover on Florida’s first goal is inexcuseable. But why was he so surpsied by the aggressive forecheck? It was as if none of his teammates hollered that he had pressure bearing down on him.
-Jason Chimera, scratched last game due to taking a dumb penalty that comes his team a game, returned to the lineup. He took a dumb penalty that negated a Jay Beagle breakaway.
-That shootout was, well, long. But, wow, that Orpik goal.
All stats from War on Ice
Photo by Amanda Bowen of RRBG Photography
According to Pierre LeBrun, Caps GM Brian MacLellan is looking to make some trades. The Caps have looked a bit stale lately, save for spurts of inspired and creative play such as the first 40 minutes in Saturday’s game against the Devils, so it’s not shocking the new GM may want to shake things up. Here are two players MacLellan likely will be asked about but shouldn’t trade.
Johnasson has already bested his goal totals from the two previous seasons with 9 goals through 25 games. Johansson has 8 even strength goals this season. He had 5 even strength goals in the last two seasons combined. I understand if people think that dealing Johansson now would be selling high.
I’m not convinced of that. I think that Johnasson very well may have taken a major step forward in his development and that the improvements in his play and production could be long lasting. While his shooting% (17.6%) is likely to come back closer to his career shooting% (12.8%), Johansson is going to continue to score at an improved rate because he is shooting the puck so much more.
As you can see, Johansson is shooting way more this season. In situations where he used to force passes, he is now firing pucks on net. As a result, he’s now putting close to 8 shots on per goal per 60 minutes of ice time. In the two previous seasons he averaged about four per 60 minutes of ice time.
In terms of shots per game this season, Johannson is averaging 2.04 shots. If he were to maintain this over an 82 game season, he would have 167 shots on goal, shattering his previous career high of 107 he set last season. If, Johansson were to pump 167 shots on net in a season and shoot at his career average of 12.8%, he would score 21 goals, which crushes his career high of 14 set in 2011-12.
Marcus Johansson is finally producing like a legitimate top-6 player. It would be a mistake to trade him. Instead, the Caps should look to extend him, as he is a restricted free agent at the end of the season.
Mike Green is an elite NHL defenseman and the Caps are a better team with him than without him. He can make glaring defensive mistakes at times, but you’re wrong if you think this makes him a bad player.
Here’s a chart Peter from RMNB made that was used in one of my posts on that site that shows Green has consistently made the Caps a better team when he’s on the ice.
As you can see, 2012 was the only season when Green didn’t help the Caps possession. Other than 2012, the Green has made the Caps a much better team when he’s on the ice. For a more in-depth look at why Green is irrefutably awesome, check out this article I wrote about him over on RMNB.
I understand he’s injury-prone and that his salary demands could be tricky for a team up against the cap. But the Caps will be better off if they find a way to keep Mike Green.
In my next post, I’ll look at two players the Caps should trade, which can help free up some of the cap space needed to keep Mike Green.
This wasn’t the best weekend of hockey for the Caps. They dropped both games and didn’t look particularly great in either one. There was one shift in particular against New Jersey that was especially bad, quite possibly the worst shift of the Caps season.
At the 2:29 mark of the second period, the Devils brought the puck into the Caps zone. The puck wouldn’t leave the zone for another 1:11, in which time the Devils piled up 10 shots attempts.
J.P. noticed it. I noticed it. We all noticed it. It was possibly the worst shift of the season for the Caps and it somehow didn’t end up in the back of their net. There were two bad decisions that during the 1:11 in the Caps zone that prolonged the terrible shift.
Above is 3 seconds after the Devils entered the zone, already with one shot attempt. The puck comes around the boards to Troy Brouwer whose momentum is carrying him towards the goal line. Brouwer’s best decision here, given his momentum, not having the puck completely corralled, and the pressure coming from his right, would be to poke the puck behind the net where Matt Niskanen could gather the puck in. Given the direction of the momentum of the two Devils’ skaters down low in the zone, Niskanen would have more time than Brouwer to fully gain control of the puck. Worst case scenario, Niskanen could bang the puck around the boards.
Instead, Brouwer tries to take the puck behind the goal line himself and is stripped of the puck, as you can see below.
The Caps did not regain possession for another 53 seconds, during which time the Devils generated 6 shot attempts. Despite the fact that he had a better option, the turnover by Brouwer wasn’t especially egregious, but it sure was costly in terms of shot attempts and time in the defensive zone.
53 seconds later Niskanen, who is exhausted, gets the puck behind the net.
Plenty of time to get the puck out, right? Wrong. Niskanen struggles to get control of the puck and then seems bewildered, probably from exhaustion, when he does get the puck cleanly on his stick. As a result, the above turns into the picture below.
So while a bouncing puck and exhaustion make it understandable that Niskanen muffled the clearing attempt (these kind of things happen over the course of 82 games), his approach was questionable from the time he got the puck. He seems intent on pushing the puck along to Andre Burakovsky, but given the impending and then eventual pressure of the Devils’ forechecker, the safer and smarter play would have been to throw the puck behind the net, where Karl Alzner would have had approximately all day to get the breakout started and the Caps headed towards a much needed line change.
Andre Burakovsky could have been more helpful to Niskanen but chose to remain on the half-wall, likely because he was in need of oxygen and water.
13 seconds and 3 additional shot attempts later, a rebound goes to the high slot, where Marcus Johansson gathers in the puck and exits the zone, thus bringing to an end the worst shift of the Caps season.
The Caps lost to the Blues
3-1 4-1 and now have a record of 7-7-3. Here’s a look at some #fancystats from the game. First the 5-on-5 shot attempt chart, followed by some more 5-on-5 numbers.
-The Caps lost the shot attempt battle, 49-44.
-Mike Green had the best on-ice shot attempt differential at +9
-Brooks Orpik had the worst shot attempt differential at -12.
-Mike Green was on the ice for the most Caps shot attempts (19).
-Brooks Orpik was on the ice for the most shot attempts against (22).
-Nick Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin had the easiest zone starts, starting 88.89% of their shifts in the offensive zone.
-Eric Fehr had the toughest zone starts, starting 25% of his shifts in the offensive zone.
The Caps beat the Blue Jackets 4-2 and now have a record of 7-5-3. Here’s a look at some #fancystats from the game. First the 5-on-5 shot attempt chart, followed by some more 5-on-5 numbers.
-The Caps lost the shot attempt battle, 46-35. In close-game situations (within 1 in the 1st 2 periods, tied in the 3rd), the Caps won the shot attempt battle 10-9.
-Nate Schmidt had the best on-ice shot attempt differential at +8 (duh).
-Brooks Orpik and Jason Chimera had the worst shot attempt differential at -10.
-Schmidt, Green, Johansson, Niskanen, and Alzner were on the ice for the most Caps shot attempts (14).
-Alzner was on the ice for the most shot attempts against (22).
-Johansson, Brouwer, and Burakovksy had the easiest zone starts, starting 100% of their shifts in the offensive zone.
-O’Brien and Latta had the toughest zone starts, starting 28.5% of their shifts in the offensive zone.
-By the way, Nate Schmidt had the toughest zone starts of any Caps D, starting just 37.5% of his shifts in the offensive zone.
CAPS WIN! HAVE A GOOD NIGHT!