Archive for 2020

Capital success

Washington reflects on season 30



The Washington Capitals completed season 30 with 40 wins and 103 points which was good enough for 3rd in the Metropolitan and 4th in the Eastern conference. The Caps finished with a +44 goal differential.

Scoring. The Caps offence was led by Vladimir Tarasenko (84 points in 82 games played) and Brent Burns (79 points in 77 games played) who both scored at more than a point per game pace. Ten more players – Rickard Rakell (66 points), Steven Stamkos (64 points), Mikko Koivu (54 points), Zach Hyman (49 points), Oscar Klefbom (46 points), Erik Gustafsson (44 points), Nick Bonino (43 points), Jack Johnson (42 points), Brad Richardson (41 points), and Shea Weber (40 points) – recorded at least one point every two games. Tarasenko also led the team in goals (35) and shots (385), Rakell had the most game-winning goals (6), and Burns was the team lead in assists (56).

Various Stats. Johnson led the team with a +22 (+12 with the Caps and +10 with the Buffalo Sabres) and was among 12 players with a positive +/- rating (minimum 10 games played). Johnson also led in other categories: shots blocked (132), penalty minutes (93 PIM), and hits (93). Koivu finished with the top face-off winning percentage of 60.49% (minimum 750 draws taken).

League Leaders. The Caps had the best power play (23.68%) and face-off winning percentage (56.24%) in the WCHL, and were respectably top five in Goals For, Shots Against, and PIM/GP. Koivu and Burns also led the league in face-offs and defenceman production respectively. Both Tarasenko and Burns cracked the top scorers list.

Transactions. The Caps were relatively quiet this season on the trade front but made a couple of deadline deals in bringing back Johnson and shipping out Marco Scandella. Both deals were for picks and Scandella was acquired earlier in the year for Valtteri Filppula. Three defencemen – Burns, Weber, and Jake McCabe – were re-signed.

MVPs. The MVP (Offence) is Tarasenko who was productive and steady all season. The MVP (Defence) is Burns who averaged the most minutes played (23.32) for a blueliner and fueled the power play.

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Flying into the playoffs

Philadelphia sets sights on long post-season run



This Week in Philadelphia- Playoff Edition

The regular season is over, the Philadelphia Flyers have finished 2nd in the Met Division with 51 wins and 106 points. Carried by their offense, which scored the 3rd most goals  and had the #1 power play for the season. The Flyers finished the season with a loss to Washington and an OT loss to Carolina. The Flyers received an injury to PK specialist Jay Beagle who will miss the start of the first round. Worse news Captain Zdeno Chara the teams best defensive dman received a 6 game suspension in game 81 and will miss the first 5 games of the first round.

Gm Bourque
" The loss of Jay and Zdeno right out of the gate, hurts the team in a number of areas, leadership and defense among the very top of that list, we are going to have to pull together to weather the storm."

Assist Captain Alex Ovechkin
" Zdeno is our leader and Captain, he got that 6 game suspension sticking up for his team and team mates, we have to play well enough to give him a chance to get into the series, Jay too, we are going to see what we are made of thats for sure."

The Match Up

The Philadelphia Flyers will play Division rival the Washington Capitals. The teams mirror each other in many respects, both a very strong offensive teams, you wouldn't want to try and make a living based on the two teams differences, both have tremendous offensive talent, both have survived on middle of the pack goaltending and wicked power plays, Philadelphia finished 3rd in goals scored, Washington 4th, Philadelphia had 106 points, Washington 103, both teams have been 1-2 on the power play all season long, both teams play in the toughest Division in the WCHL. The difference may be on defense, at the deadline Washington made a move to get a veteran rental dman, Philadelphia had a deal in place but failed to get it in before the deadline add to that Chara's 6 game suspension, 5 games remaining and this could be where the rubber hits the road. The series begins tonight in Philadelphia, the Flyers one of the league's best home teams, Washington is the league's best road team. The season series belongs to Washington at 3-2, they also won all three games after the addition of that all important rental dman. So even though the Flyers have the home ice, most pundits would suggest that a slight edge goes to the Capitals based on the above. Either team that makes it through should be trouble in the 2nd round. Go Flyers Go !

see you at the Wachovia Center.....out for now...peace

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It's Always Sunny in Philaldelphia


A look at the week that was in Philadelphia

Bo Knows Hockey


Bo Horvat has missed eight games over the last two weeks and the Flyers have really missed his leadership and work ethic, Bo is the consummate team player, no matter what his role, he accepts and always is productive. Bo finally made it back last night as the Florida Panthers came a visiting at the Wachovia Center. The Flyers were a little flat to say the least, even after Bo in his return to the line up, set up James Neal and  gave the home team a 1-0 lead. The Flyers would not score again and lost 5-1.

Bo Horvat
" I am really happy to be back in the line up, life without ice is no life at all, hockey is all I know, I can't remember a time when I wasn't involved in hockey, you know really know how much you miss it until its taken away from you, the team has been just fine without me, but I know I can contribute and help the team, and now that we have moved Ryan, I think I will be playing in other situations."

What Bo is referring to in case you missed it was a blockbuster trade with San Jose to finally provide Bo Horvat with a dynamic top line winger. Jonathan Huberdeau fits that to a tee, the 26 year old former 3rd overall pick has been steadily rounding into a superstar, Huberdeau and Ovechkin may give the Flyers the best top two left wingers in the business and that's important when your centers are Horvat and Duchene, both probably better suited to C2 than C1. Don't get me wrong they are both fine center-men with good upsides, both can drive a line and both are reliable.

The Trade:

To San Jose: Ryan Getslaf, William Nylander and Jacob Chychrun
To Philadelphia: Jonathan Huberdeau

The is the second big trade that Philadelphia has made, involving multiple pieces of youth from the farm, last deal was for Colton Parayko. Both players look to be key blocks in the Philadelphia wall. The deal for Parayko did not involve a pro roster player, this time Ryan Getslaf and important cog in the wheel is moving. Now Getslaf was playing 3rd line center and Huberdeau will play top line left wing, so there is that, Huberdeau is a better offensive weapon and then there's that too.

GM Bourque
" This is an upgrade offensively Huberdeau is one of the game's best players and he appears to be just getting better and he is only 26, Ryan is a terrific player and person with rare leadership skills. Part of this deal was finance as well, we were having a hard time getting Nylander and Chychrun into the line up and Ryan's 9 million dollar price tag was going to have to be moved next season for sure, the timing just seemed right as the team is playing well and looking to try and be a playoff team this season, well you know best laid plans, sometimes its better to just leave things alone, but we think Huberdeau is worth it."

The Games:
835 Philadelphia Flyers (5) vs Minnesota Wild (2)
852 Florida Panthers (2) vs Philadelphia Flyers (3)
871 Philadelphia Flyers (3) vs Colorado Avalanche (4) - OT
881 Philadelphia Flyers (3) vs Detroit Red Wings (1)
892 Florida Panthers (5) vs Philadelphia Flyers (1)

....out for this week....peace ya'all

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Rangers ready for strong finish



As we hit the 2/3's mark of the WCHL season, an annual trend continues; The Eastern Conference standings are mayhem. 7 points separate the 4th seed in the East, to the 12th seed in the east. Each night, teams jump into the playoff picture, or plummet a few spots out of the playoff picture. The Rangers have been lucky enough to stay a bit ahead of the group for most of the season. With a current streak of 8-1-1 in their last 10 games, the blue shirts have moved into 1st place in the overall standings with 80 points in 55 games.

The Rangers have done this with a very balanced attack. Unlike in year's past, where they have had mainstays in the top 10 in scoring, top 10 in defensive scoring, or having Lundqvist up near the top of goalie stats. The Rangers are the lone team in the league to have 14 players who have reached the 20 point plateau so far to date. Leading the charge are Anze Kopitar with 60 points and Mark Scheifele with 59 points. The defense is led by Matt Dumba with 44 points, followed closely by Rasmus Ristolainen with 41 points, and Alex Pietrangelo with 39 points. In goal, Henrik Lundqvist has had a solid, not spectacular season. In fact, Lundqvist's backup, Carter Hart, has put up far superior numbers. Lundqvist has had a 2.41 GAA and a 0.916 save %. While Carter Hart has a 1.96 GAA and a 0.932.

The Rangers have also recently signed 2 big pieces of their future, extending both Jake Guentzel and Patrik Laine for 5 years. They join a top 6 are all signed long term, including Anze Kopitar, Mark Scheifele, Gabriel Landeskog and off season signing, TJ Oshie. The Rangers also re-signed their 3rd line center, Dylan Strome, to a long term contract.

Looking ahead to next season, the Rangers will have some tough decisions to move on from some of their bottom of the lineup veterans.

The Rangers got a jump on the trade deadline, and solidified their defense by acquiring Alex Goligoski. The Rangers will likely stand pat on deals the rest of the season, and will go forward from here with the following lineup:

Gabriel Landeskog - Anze Kopitar - TJ Oshie
Jake Guentzel - Mark Scheifele - Patrik Laine
Erik Haula - Dylan Strome - Thomas Vanek
Marcus Granlund - Chris Mueller - Jason Pominville

Alex Pietrangelo - Rasmus Ristolainen
Cam Fowler - Matt Dumba
Joel Edmundson - Alex Goligoski

Henrik Lundqvist
Carter Hart

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