“Hey cuz, how does Peerless start these things?”
He’s on the air…
“HE’S ON THE AIR!!!”
No he’s not, you idiot. He’s still in hiatus.
He’s not here…
“Oh yeah…right. But where is hiatus, anyway? Isn’t that in Massachusetts?"
No, that’s “Hyannis.” Shouldn’t you be getting to the point?
“Uh, OK. I was havin’ a beer…”
“OK, a case… and I was thinkin’ about that ‘sittin’ at the end of the bar’ thing Peerless does and thought, ‘why not?’ So I was sittin’ at the end o’ the bar and thinkin’ about some Caps stuff, like…”
-- The Caps have 20 points in 14 games (10-4-0). Last year, they had – yup – 20 points in 14 games (8-2-4).
-- Last year the Caps had a plus-eight differential in goals scored to goals allowed through 14 games (no, that doesn’t include shootouts, cuz). This year, plus-12.
-- Compare goals allowed last year to this, and it’s a 21 percent improvement, down from 43 goals to 34 allowed.
-- Last year’s power play through 14 games was 20.6 percent. This year, 20.0 percent.
-- The power play trouble is the boys aren’t getting enough of them. Last year they had 68 chances through their first 14 games. This year, 55…that’s down almost a full chance a game. Only four times have they had at least five chances in a game so far. Last year they had eight games like that through their first 14 games.
-- Here is an odd one… last year the Caps killed 52 shorthanded situations through 14 games. This year? 52. The difference is that the Caps faced 65 shorthanded situations through 14 games last year (80.0 percent) and only 60 so far this season through 14 games (86.7 percent).
-- I keep hearin’ that whole “puck possession” thing gettin’ talked about. Well, here is somethin’ I found interestin’ on that score. The Caps have six players who have played in all 14 games and have a takeaway-to-giveaway ratio better than 1.00. Here is that list: Mike Knuble, Nicklas Backstrom, Alexander Semin, Tomas Fleischmann, Brooks Laich, and Alex Ovechkin.
-- As a team, the skaters are only a minus-3 in giveaways to takeaways.
-- You’d expect David Steckel to be among the leaders in faceoffs (he’s eighth overall). But bet you wouldn’ o’ had Nicklas Backstrom in the top 30 and ahead of guys like Eric Belanger, John Madden, Mike Modano, and Saku Koivu…or is that Mikko Koivu (cuz, it’s both of them, actually).
-- Am I reading this right? Tomas Fleischmann has been on the ice for one goal against so far in 14 games?
-- And in the really odd stat department, 80 total goals have been scored in 14 Caps games so far. John Carlson has been on the ice for 32 of them (18 for, 14 against). No Cap has been on the ice for more. Things happen when RAHJC is on the ice.
-- Alex Ovechkin leads all NHL forwards in average time on ice per shift (1:04), but right behind him are Evgeni Malkin (1:03) and Sidney Crosby (59.0). In fact, while the Caps have two of the top 14 forwards in average shift time (Nicklas Backstrom being the other one), Pittsburgh has four of the top 11 (Chris Kunitz and Mike Comrie being the others).
-- The Caps are second in the NHL in goals scored per game, but they have only one player in the top-60 in shooting percentage (Alexander Semin, 34th at 18.8 percent). And no, we’re not counting Matt Bradley’s 1-for-5 shooting.
-- Last year, though his first 11 decisions, goalie Michal Neuvirth was 7-4-0, 2.28, .916. This year he is 8-3-0, 2.41, .914. Except last year he was at Hershey.
"How'd I do?"
Not bad, but cuz?
... either order the dog a beer or take him outside.