Esteemed members of the board of directors, thank you for agreeing to meet via Microsoft Teams rather than in the high-top section of Golden Corral like usual. I have sent via courier to you all some of their delicious french-fry wedges, though they may be soggy by now.
Attached is an 80-slide powerpoint presentation summarizing the results from Q2’s Caps happiness survey exercise. We asked internet people how happy they were that each Washington Capitals player was on the team. They got to decide what “happy” means to them, much like when Agent Smith says, “There are levels of survival we are prepared to accept.” That’s how you feel about Dmitry Orlov, basically.
We had more than 1200 responses, which is a fraction of Q1’s responses, because I don’t know. The internet is unpredictable. Obviously I did something wrong.
Here is how we posed the question:
On a scale from 1 to 5, how HAPPY are you to have this player on the team?
1 means VERY UNHAPPY TO HAVE THEM ON THE TEAM
2 means UNHAPPY
3 means NEITHER HAPPY NOR UNHAPPY
4 means HAPPY
5 means VERY HAPPY TO HAVE THEM ON THE TEAM
I gathered the results and then ranked players by their average score. For the purpose of analysis, I have broken them into tiers.
Below, each player is listed with their average score and their standard deviation. A bigger average score means fans are happier to have that player on the team. A bigger standard deviation means there is more disagreement about the player. Here we go.
These are the marquee players of the Washington Capitals. If you’re advertising with the Capitals, you want pics of these dudes next to your stuff. They can do no wrong, even when they definitely do wrong.
Near universal consensus here. These players *are* the Washington Capitals and must remain so forever.
Just outside the top tier, here is the team’s molten outer core.
Perhaps as a result of his seven-game suspension, Tom Wilson has dropped out of Beloved.
Note the high standard deviation on John Carlson; he’s one of the team’s most controversial players according to you.
Brighter news: Daniel Sprong rocketed out of Q1’s “Prove It” tier, up from a 3.6. He’s proved it. Similarly rising is Nic Dowd, who will probably hit a career in goals this season.
We have departed the realm of superstars, but here now are some very important role players.
Jakub Vrana is the single biggest dropper of Q2, falling all the way from the Beloved tier with a 4.7 down to a 4.1. There seems to be a lot of disagreement about him and Dmitry Orlov, similar to Carlson in the Core tier, perhaps as a result of their perceived (or real) defensive struggles.
Conor Sheary’s inclusion here make him runner-up in biggest improvement from Q1. We’ll get to the single biggest improvement right now.
These players have a Rodney Dangerfield vibe.
It’s Nick Jensen, who was the lowest ranked full-time Caps player last time. Jensen’s been a steady presence on the blue line over the last few months, and I suspect Elliot Segal didn’t have time to vote this time around.
Personally, I’m surprised that Evgeny Kuznetsov, a 3.6 last time, hasn’t climbed higher. I thought recency bias (five points in five games: three goals and two assists) would be stronger. His results haven’t been bad at all lately, though you could quibble about why.
These players have potential that they have not reached — at least not lately.
This is the most interesting group to me. Whether from too little opportunity or too little done with the opportunities they’ve been given, these players are deemed wanting.
Carl Hagelin and Richard Panik are effectively the same player: competent for 190 feet of ice, but they seem to be able to score only when it’s an accident. Brenden Dillon trails only Tom Wilson in penalty minutes and has been an apparent drag on his various defensive pairings.
Trevor van Riemsdyk and Jonas Siegenthaler, meanwhile, rarely get a jersey on game days, and when they do they rarely see action. I think they’re both perfectly cromulent players, but the team’s defensive stack ranking just does not favor them right now.
A lot of these players are associated with the Caps only as technicalities at this point. I’m going to keep including them, but it’s kind of just a formality.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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