Archive for May 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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