A major deadline acquisition, Carl Hagelin turned the Washington Capitals from decent to deadly. If only he could stay.
|14.9||time on ice per game|
|54.7||5-on-5 shot-attempt percentage, adjusted|
|54.8||5-on-5 expected goal percentage, adjusted|
|55.7||5-on-5 goal percentage, adjusted|
About this visualization: This series of charts made by Micah Blake McCurdy of hockeyviz.com shows various metrics for the player over the course of the season. A short description of each chart:
Ugh, I love Carl Hagelin. I know I shouldn’t. He haunted the Caps in years past with his quick skating and excellent puck-moving while in transition. But those were the two things the Caps lacked the most in February of 2019. Brian MacLellan identifying that need as well as the opportunity to pick up Hagelin on the cheap (after Jim Rutherford fumbled him earlier in the season) was a masterstroke. Here’s what Hagelin (and Jensen too, picked up around the same time) meant to the team:
The Caps went from having 48 percent of shot attempts to having 54 percent. They went from having 47 percent of expected goals to 50. And they went from scoring 53 percent of goals to 61 percent. All because of one player hopping around the middle six, making everyone around him better like bacon bits on a salad.
That’s not because Hagelin is a good player, which of course he is, but because the ways in which he is good were the precise ways in which the Caps had been bad. The Caps didn’t need scoring, they needed reliable transition play. They didn’t need physicality, they needed speed. They got it, and for a few weeks they really were the best team in the National Hockey League. Then some stuff happened and they got eliminated, but that doesn’t lower my enthusiasm. While I’ve got low hopes that Hagelin will return — his next contract should earn him twice what his cap hit was to Washington this season — it’s evidence that close and smart evaluation of a team, when working in concert with decision-making, can result in success. It can happen again.
— NBC Sports Capitals (@NBCSCapitals) March 3, 2019
Is there any chance the Caps could make a new deal with Hagelin work? If they can’t ink him, who could offer a similar skill set that Washington needs?
Read more: Japers Rink
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