Bleep dat bleep up
Bleep dat bleep up
Matt Hendricks beats up Steve Downie blindfolded. (Photo credit: Mitchell Layton)
The Washington Capitals hoped the Winter Classic buzz wouldn’t interfere with their hometown appointment with Southeast rivals, the Tampa Bay Lightning. With both teams sitting atop the division, the stakes were high, even if the game lacked the theatrics of Saturday’s Hustle at Heinz.
Unfortunately, the Caps couldn’t set off any offensive fireworks. After a sleepy first period, the red team started mounting a real effort, but they never beat 41-year-old Dwayne Roloson, just acquired from the Islanders. In overtime, it was another vet, Martin St. Louis, who finally put a puck past Semyon Varlamov, a tasty rebound off Vincent Lacavalier. At least we got one standings point. Bolts beat Caps 1-0 (OT).
Come on, Steve Levy. Ovi’s no Russian Spy!
Thanks to Kathryn H. for sharing!
Back in October, when Alex Ovechkin used to score goals, I ran a simulation estimating his chances at getting 50 in 50. Yea, he really did score goals back then enough to inspire me to write that. The simulation had him scoring on average 42 goals (plus or minus 8 ) in an 82-game season, and while it seemed far-fetched at the time, here we are staring at a 30-goal season out of the Great 8. So why not see how absurd possible it would be for him to get the Ovechtrick.
For those of you that missed it, an Ovechtrick is a 9-goal game scored by Ovechkin. Those muckity mucks at Verizon are clever, eh?
To estimate his chances I will again use a Monte Carlo simulation to run 10,000 “games.” It starts with me using the shots on goal and shooting percentage during the regular season for Ovechkin during this season and the last two. Then I figure out how frequently these events occurred and let lady luck work her fickle magic.
By 8 years ago
Editor’s note: Reader Jerry Moxley is just your average, amateur hockey player, but he has got one of the greatest “meet your hero” stories we’ve ever read.
If you can make a living doing something you love, consider yourself lucky. I was able to take my interest in television and make a career out of it, but I put on my hockey skates too late to become more than a beer-league weekend warrior. With the birth of my second daughter, I decided to take more work on the side to pay the bills. One day, through Russian Machine Never Breaks and Carlyn Davis Casting, I learned that there was a commercial being filmed at my home rink in Laurel, MD that needed ice rink extras. I emailed the casting agency with the expectation that of a little extra money and maybe a spot in a blurry background somewhere. It turned out to be something bigger.
After a miserable eight-game losing streak, the Caps are finally starting to see some puck bounces go their way and are 5-0-1 in their last six. Good times ahead? We’ll see, but this is sure better than losing.
The scoring chances showed us this was just a matter of time. Remember, I use a specific definition of what I consider a scoring chance based on shot quality data and log everyone who is on the ice at the time using the script from Vic Ferrari. As always, you can find the spreadsheet online.
At even strength, the Caps put the scoring chances in their favor throughout the season, but when they failed to get the puck bounces to go their way it was a tough stretch of eight games. Once the bad luck started to even out, bringing their conversion percentage back to their season average, the Caps were able to right the ship:
By 8 years ago
Photo credit: Gregory Shamus
After a year of build-up and three glorious episodes of HBO’s 24/7, the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins finally met at Heinz Field in front of 68,111 loud, screaming fans to compete in the 2011 Winter Classic. Much like the 39 games before and the 42 games to follow, this game counted the exact same amount in the standings: two points.
But both you and I know it meant waaaaaay more than that. You could see it in how the Caps played, celebrated and spoke after the game. This was the biggest game they had ever played in their NHL careers. And it showed.
At 8:17pm the first puck dropped. It would then take over twenty-two compelling game minutes to see the 2011 Classic’s first goal. In the second period, Marc-Andre Fleury made a routine stick save along the ice on Alex Ovechkin. Kris Letang then took the rebound and alertly flung the puck up ice where he found a streaking Evgeny Malkin. The Capitals’ defense, caught on a bad change, allowed Malkin to go in all alone on Semyon Varlamov. Malkin went five-hole and the the Penguins took a 1-0 lead.
Rachel Cohen, RMNB’s resident illustrator, made this awesome sign for tonight’s game. Please make sure to keep a look out for her during the national broadcast. She will be holding this sign proudly all night. Most importantly, now that we’re less than an hour away from the game…
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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