The Washington Capitals have won eight of their last ten games. A win tonight could give them sole control of the Metropolitan Division lead. To that point, the Anaheim Ducks have come to town, and they are not very mighty. They’re the most injured team in the league, having missed Patrick Eaves, Ryan Kesler, Mike Liambas, Hampus Lindholm, Corey Perry, Nick Ritchie, and Jakob Silfverberg at various times through the season. Still, let’s not be overconfident – the Ducks have had excellent goaltending this year, and the Caps are still trying to get healthy themselves.
The action is on NBCSWANABISCO at 8 PM. You have the distinct honor of Chris Cerullo’s services on the recap.
|Shot Attempt %||46.7%||48.3%|
Assuming Orpik’s in and Oshie’s out, here’s what we’ll see tonight, by way of NHL.com’s Tom Gulitti.
Ovechkin – Backstrom – Wilson
Vrana – Kuznetsov – Chiasson
Connolly – Eller – Burakovsky
Stephenson – Beagle – DSP
Orlov – Niskanen
Orpik – Carlson
Djoos – Bowey
This morning I wrote a longish piece about how the Caps seeming position atop the Metro belies the problems in their process, which are specifically among the team’s depth. It was a fun story to put together, but in the process I learned some crazy stuff about Braden Holtby, who is a big part of the Caps not being suck this year.
This is wild, right? Braden Holtby not only has the highest 5v5 sv% of the last decade, but also the smallest swing in season-to-season variations. pic.twitter.com/RsMPVvOwfx
— Good Tweet Pete 🌮 (@peterhassett) December 16, 2017
Once again, Holtby is right at 93 percent saving. He’s a machine. A machine that blows up seven percent of the time.
P.S. my new stupid idea is to have separate PK and 5v5 goalies. Tell me how stupid this is in the comments.
Here are some things I liked reading this year.
We Were Eight Years in Power by Ta-Nehisi Coates. A bunch of essays written by Coates, who also wrote my favorite book of 2015. Reading these is like being yelled at by a past version of yourself who is very disappointed with the current you.
Persepolis Rising by James S. A. Corey. I’ve still got about 25 percent left of this one, so please no spoilers. I like these books a bunch, and this one took a big turn from previous installments. I think it works. I love that Expanse is never exactly what you expect. It will headfake towards Lovecraft but then pivot towards themes of practical engineering and the lasting need for cooperation. I recommend it over the TV show very much.
17776 by Jon Bois. This was bananas. I hate football deeply, but I found Bois’ sprawling, experimental serialized story surprisingly moving. It’s thoughtful and dumb and funny and sad all at once. It’s a story about a middle without an end, or maybe it’s about an ending that never stops. Or it’s about finding meaning in meaninglessness, which is all sports ever is, and sometimes that’s all life is too.
Also I’m writing a book. One day you’ll read it if you want.
Headline photo: Brian Babineau
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.