The trade deadline is coming up in less than a week. The Capitals roster may change soon, so this is our last chance to measure them using the most important statistic of all: our feelings.
Here now is the executive summary for the second happiness survey of the season. About 2,300 respondents scored each Capitals player from 1 to 5, based on how happy the respondent is that the player is on the team.
Here’s how the question was worded:
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 have subjectively grouped the results 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.
This is the tier for the most beloved players on the Capitals roster.
Last time we measured, Alex Ovechkin rated a 4.9, so I guess we consider this a drop. Then again, he’s still the most happy-making player on the team, so it’s not like current events have moved the needle much.
Nicklas Backstrom wasn’t playing the last time we did a survey, so his 0.16 improvement could be attributed to getting back in the game. We’ll see that effect a few more times today.
Awesome players are in this tier.
After making his debut at a 4.60, defender Martin Fehervary seems to have settled in here. This is great company for him.
I don’t know what more anyone could want from Evgeny Kuznetsov. He’s up more than a full point from last season, playing with joy and racking up points. He’s been my favorite storyline of the season by a mile, and it looks like You People agree.
Also, I’m just relieved that Nic Dowd and Garnet Hathaway are close together. They’ve both climbed from November.
Here’s a tier with three cool guys in it.
Anthony Mantha wasn’t playing last time we had a survey, so his 0.87 increase from November could be attributed to his playing status.
Conor Sheary has been steadily climbing in happiness rating over the past year, which to me means he’s slowly winning you all over.
Goalie Vitek Vanecek has won his last four appearances with a .930 save percentage. He’s been a darn good goalie this calendar year. Frankly I’m surprised he has not climbed; he’s technically down .06 from November.
Here are five guys with average scores under four.
This is an odd cohort of players. Nick Jensen has been a fantastic defender for the Caps, but he’s inexplicably down .20. Connor McMichael, Down .35 from November, shows promise but doesn’t get the opportunity to do anything with it.
But Carl Hagelin is the real curiosity here. He suffered a significant eye injury just before the survey began, and yet he’s up a massive 1.22 from November, the biggest improvement of any player. His standard deviation isn’t larger than his neighbors, so it seems everyone agrees that we like Hagelin. Could this be an injury-caused halo effect?
That one tier with John Carlson.
Carlson has the largest standard deviation among full-time players, so let’s call this rating contentious.
In objective reality, John Carlson is a very very good hockey player. Both Japers Rink and we have sung his praises recently. It’s just that he make you want to rip your own fingernails out sometimes, right?
Players who have your eyebrows arched way up like “uhwhat?”
Goalie Ilya Samsonov is down 1.10 since November, the biggest drop in the survey. About this time last season, he was a 4.20, it’s been a rough year for Washington’s back-up goalie (of the moment).
The shine has come off forward Daniel Sprong, whose defensive shortcomings struggle to keep up with his offensive prowess. He’s down 0.67 from November.
I wanted to say “Poor Michal Kempny“, but he’s won a Stanley Cup and earned 2.5 million a year while recovering from a gauntlet of serious lower-body injuries, so maybe “poor” is the wrong word choice.
So what do you make of it? Next time we do the survey, we’ll be somewhere in the postseason or the offseason entirely.
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.