Once again, Nate Schmidt put up a sterling performance for the Washington Capitals and was rewarded for his effort by a demotion to Hershey.
Same Schmidt, different day.
|13:53||Average time on ice per game|
|54.1%||Shot attempt percentage during 5v5|
|47.4%||Goal percentage during 5v5|
Schmidt’s on-ice shot-attempt percentage in 10-game running segments, according to War on Ice:
Nate Schmidt played 39 games this season, 10 more than last. And yet, Nate got exactly the same amount of ice, 542 minutes, and he improved the Capitals possession by the same amount, 2.8 percent. And again like last season, Schmidt’s season was shortened by his coach, who is not the same coach as the one before but came to the same solution anyway: We like our other guys more. You know– the ones we pay a lot of money.
Schmidt’s low percentages played a part. The Caps shot poorly and saved poorly when he was on the ice, but man they played a lot of offense– 54 percent possession (first among Caps defense) with a shot-attempt rate of almost one per minute, second only to John Carlson. Nate’s personal contribution was about at the same rate as last season– on par with Matt Niskanen‘s individual shot output.
It was a good performance, but not good enough. After some scratches in December, Trotz sent Schmidt to Hershey to see some action. Action he saw: he scored two goals and got injured. Schmidt recovered by March, but saw diminished use in his games in Washington– just 14 minutes a game, compared to nearly 19 last season. I’ve got some thoughts on why.
Schmidt isn’t a huge guy, and he’s not a big hitter, and I suppose those are problems if your coaching concerns are first and foremost style of play, but there’s no arguing results: the team is wayyyy better when Schmidt is playing. But for a Washington crew who deliberately went Heavy last summer and who have a coach who clearly prefers experience over youth, Schmidt might have to be a bit more boisterous to get noticed.
I’ll adopt Nate’s infectious optimism here: I’m not worried. It’s gonna happen. Nate Schmidt is already a solid NHLer. Now we get to watch everyone else discover him too.
How great is Nate? Pretty great, right? I know some Facebook guys are gonna “meh” this, but I don’t care because neither would Nate.
Read more: Japers Rink
p.s. Schmidt didn’t get an emoji. Boo, Ian.
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