Caps Sparklines through 2016/17 season

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Beanlet’s First Game

Select out-takes from Beanlet’s first TV hockey game. Caps defeat the Ducks 6-4 in Anaheim.

Me: Offensive zone giveaway Nylander? Really? Man, you suck.
Sean: [grunt]
Me: Uh-oh.
Sean: [bubbly fart]
Me: How apropos.

Me: I can’t believe Theodore didn’t give up a fat-ass rebound on that shot, can you?
Sean: [grunt]
Me: I know… always to the slot. Time for burpings.

Me: SCORE! Man, Bradley was at the right place at the right time on that one, huh?
Sean: [milky foam extrusion]
Me: You’re right, he is a bit underrated.

Me: GOAL! Good going to the net Dave Steckel.
Sean: [silence]
Me: Wake up, Beanlet. Aw shit. 30 seconds after you score you let one in? Are you fucking kidding me?
Sean: [silence]
Me: It’s okay little buddy, you didn’t miss anything good. Time for bed.

Approaching Ubiquity

There’s nothing wrong with a little self-promotion and localhost ego stroking is there?

James Mirtle is kind of a big deal in the hockey blogging niche. That’s like saying he’s the biggest fish in a pond with 2 fish, but he’s pretty well known.

Today, he announced that he’s moving from his blogspot site to a new one named “From the Rink” over on SportsBlogs Nation.

This is relevant for a number of reasons.

The recently-announced Pick SPG site that I worked on all summer with the Pension Plan Puppets administrator is running leagues for a number of SBNation hockey blogs, including: Pension Plan Puppets (Leafs), Mile High Hockey (Avs), Hockey Wilderness (Wild), Die by the Blade (Sabers), and Pensburgh (Penguins). Caps fans everywhere can also participate, and although no “official” league is being administered, J.P. of Japers’ Rink has said he will award a prize of some sort.

Having Mirtle as “Manager of NHL Blogs” for SBNation should greatly increase their audience of hockey fans. That should put my little pet project in front of more people, a lot of whom will hopefully enjoy the fruits of my labor.

Also, Mirtle notes:

Plus I get a snazzy logo.

Now, I don’t know who designed his new logo for him… but if you take a gander, it should look familiar to you (see the links at the bottom of that post). The goal is a dead giveaway.

Okay… so it’s only 2 things, and “ubiquity” is a stretch… but fuck it. I’m proud of my contributions to the online NHL fan community, and happy to see them getting some mileage.

Sneak Peek

I’ve been working on a particular web app since April 24th… merely 2 days after the Caps got knocked out of the Stanley Cup playoffs in Game 7 of the first round. What is this app? Check this gameday thread from a Leafs blog for a hint.

Beta testing commences in a few days. Shit goes live before the start of the regular season. Email me for more info.

You do have my email, right?

An Acceptable Double Standard

A couple of weeks ago, I was taken aback after learning the price of a Ralph Lauren one-piece footie thing which Erin bought for the impending Beanlet. She spent $25 on something he’ll wear for maybe 90 days, and it’s not even made from some relatively-exotic material like cashmere or velvet.

It’s fuckin’ velour. Maybe fleece, if I’m lucky.

After a few minutes, I was completely cool with it. I mean, it’s only $25. That’s cheaper than 2 beers apiece at hockey. I just thought it was an absurd amount of money to pay for 1 baby outfit, especially when compared to the $4.99 argyle shit she’s been buying lately.

Then it hit me. I’m a huge fucking hypocrite.

Cuz, y’know, I’d happily shell out $60 for one of these:

One-Way Ticket from Denver to D.C.

In my previous post “Why the Caps Need to Sign Huet“, I argued that Huet performed better than the Caps’ other goaltenders in the 2007-2008 NHL season, at least with respect to their goals-against averages, and save percent.

One day after Huet signed with Chicago, and the Caps signed Jose Theodore, I wondered how he stacked up against those 3 netminders from last year. The previous post’s calculations for all 3 guys included only games played as a Washington Capital. Since Theodore has yet to make his debut at Verizon Center, his GAA and SV% were calculated using all his games from this past year (regular season and playoffs) for the Avalanche.

Here’s the dirt. Reference that other post for the GAA and SV% algorithms.

Goalie Minutes Played Total Shots Total Goals GAA SV%
Kolzig 3,154 1,423 153 2.91 0.892
Johnson 1,032 500 46 2.67 0.908
Huet 1,222 571 43 2.11 0.925
Theodore 3,542 1,653 150 2.54 0.909

I suppose a case could be made that by counting only Huet’s 20.3 games as a Capital artificially inflates his stats. But I’d point out that Johnson played only 17.2 games last year.

From a purely statistical standpoint, Theodore is better than both Kolzig and Johnson, but not as good as Huet by a long shot.

Their career stats tell a different story. That is–for all intents and purposes–they’re pretty much interchangeable. Here’s hoping that Theodore, standing in net behind the same guys as those other 3 Caps goalies, can match Huet’s success.

Questions Answered

About 2 months ago, I asked a lot of questions. Here are the answers:

Art Ross, Maurice “Rocket” Richard, Jack Adams, Hart Memorial, Lester B. Pearson.

Quite a number of trophies to add to the Washington Capitals’ glass case, eh?

While ultimate victory will have to wait, this past season reminds me of another NHL team that succeeded after being the worst team in the league a few years running, and their subsequent rebuild.

I only hope the Caps do it while I still live here.

Why the Caps Need to Sign Huet

Before we get started w/ the stats, a remedial math course… as it relates to hockey goaltenders.

Goals Against Average (GAA) is calculated like this:
You take the total minutes that the goalie played in the season (including the playoffs, if desired) and divide that by 60, since there are 60 minutes in a regular NHL game (not including overtime or the shootout). That gives you the number of games played by the goalie (not always a whole number). I can only imagine that overtime or shootout minutes are not included in that goalie’s total-minutes-played stat because these are not “regular” periods; they only happen when necessary. Then, you take the total number of goals scored against that goalie (empty-net goals are not included, since he wasn’t on the ice at the time) and divide that by the number of games (figured previously). That gives you the average number of goals scored against that goalie in 60 minutes (or, per game). That’s your goals-against-average, or GAA.

So it’s:
TOTAL MINUTES / 60 = GAMES PLAYED
… then:
TOTAL GOALS ALLOWED / GAMES PLAYED = GAA

Mathematical shorthand is:
(GOALS ALLOWED x 60) / TOTAL MINUTES = GAA

The lower the GAA number, the better the goaltender’s performance.

Save Percent (SV%) is calculated like this:
You take the total number of shots that a goalie faced all season (including the playoffs, if desired), and subtract the total number of goals scored against him. That gives you the total number of “saves” he had… or the number of shots he didn’t let into the net. You then take that number of saves, and divide it by the total number of shots (from before), and that gives you the percentage of shots he didn’t let into the net. That’s your save percent, or SV%.

So it’s:
(TOTAL SHOTS – TOTAL GOALS) / TOTAL SHOTS = SV%

The higher the SV%, the better the goaltender’s performance.

Now, for those of you unfamiliar with the situation in D.C. over the course of the 2007-2008 regular season and playoffs: Olaf Kolzig was the starting goaltender for the majority of the season; Brent Johnson was the backup all season (while not injured, and before Huet came along), and Cristobal Huet was acquired at the trade deadline for the Caps’ playoff run, effectively supplanting Kolzig as the starter for the end of the regular season, and throughout the Caps’ 7-game playoff series (relegating Olie to the backup position).

Long story longer… here’s what’s up:

Kolzig let in a total of 153 goals in 3,154 minutes on the ice. That gives him a GAA of 2.91.
Kolzig faced 1,423 total shots, and you know 153 of them went in. That gives him a SV% of 0.892.

Johnson let in a total of 46 goals in 1,032 minutes on the ice. That gives him a GAA of 2.67.
Johnon faced 500 total shots, and you know 46 of them went in. That gives him a SV% of 0.908.

That brings us to Huet. The following stats include playoff games, since he was the only Caps goalie to play during all 7 games; Kolzig and Johnson never made it to the ice.

Huet let in a total of 43 goals in 1,222 minutes on the ice. That gives him a GAA of 2.11.
Huet faced 571 total shots, and you know 43 of them went in. That gives him a SV% of 0.925.

Upshot?

Kolzig’s performance was the worst on the team. Johnson was better, given his meager minutes.

In only 20 games, Huet kicked the shit out of them both.

Introducing the Perez Cup

Immediately after the Tampa Bay Lightning won the Stanley Cup, I received (among a shitload of sweet swag) two miniature, plastic Cup replicas from my brother who attended Game 7 in Tampa.

Last year, I quickly got sick of comparing my Stanley Cup playoff picks against the “experts” published on various sports-related websites across North America. This year, I invited all of my hockey-savvy friends and family to participate in a playoff competition.

Aside from my gorgeous-and-pregnant wife, only two had the balls to step up: “J” and “M”. Identifying information has been removed to provide anonymity, and also because I didn’t ask them if it’d be okay for me to post their picks.

The prize for winning the competition wasn’t really decided until I purchased a Dremel engraver offa’ the Amazon. After that, one of my two mini-Cups was destined to fall victim to the winner, as would everyone except Erin.

Here’s the final points tally, and here’s the reward:

Perez Cup 2008

Granted, I must work on my engraving skills (it was my first time!).

There’s plenty of room on that little plastic bitch to serve us well for years to come. If you missed this year’s competition, don’t miss it next year. Your name could end up on the Stanley Perez Cup.