Stats for Back to Back Games

In the past two weeks we have had two pairs of back to back games. This season we have played 7 back to back games altogether. Tuesday night we lost to the Senators 3-0 as the second game of a back to back. The night before we beat the Hurricanes 6-1.

Back to back games are very difficult. You need to have enough strength to skate fast, score goals, even sometimes have huge fights two days in a row. It isn’t very easy one day let alone two days in a row. It is no wonder that the players can get tired! It is a natural thing to not play as well when tired. As a former hockey player I remember back to back games; it was exhausting and that isn’t even NHL level.

Anyway so what are the stats for back to back games. We have won two games in two sets of back to back games. We have lost one game in the rest of the sets. We have won only the first game in 4 of the 7 sets. We have only won the last game in only 1 of 7 sets. That shows my point that the players do tend to get more tired and play worse on the second of the two games.

What about scoring? We have scored an average of 7.28 goals per set. We have let them score an average of 4.71 goals every set. That is amazing for two games in a row many would think that we would actually let in more goals two games in a row. 

Our next game back to back will be on the 31st of January against the Islanders, and February first against the Bruins. How do you think we will do them?

Chris Cleveland Joins the FiCP Family–Yeah, we Let a Guy in…

Chris Cleveland has been one of Friends in Cold Places biggest supporters since day one. He tweets us. He messages us. He sends us video and great pictures he gets with players (Caps and other). So we finally decided, what the heck, invite him to join us. And he agreed. Here’s his story:

Hello Friends in Cold Places.  I’m Chris Cleveland and I am a huge hockey fan.

My hockey story is quite funny.  I was actually a Blackhawks fan before becoming a Caps fan. I know, how could that be??  Well one year for Christmas my parents decided to get me Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews jerseys when I was ten. This started my journey into hockey and I was obsessed with watching the Hawks.

Alright enough about the Hawks. I became a Caps fan around 2010 when they switched from the old school jerseys to the new cool looking red ones. When the Caps switched over to the red jersey, I totally fell in love with the team and how good they have been.

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My Favorite memory from when I was younger is when I was at the so-called Snowvechkin Game when Alex rallied the Caps back from  3-1 to win it in overtime. I have been to some pretty wild Caps games over the years, including my most recent and favorite memory of Game 7 vs the Islanders two seasons ago, when Kuzy put the Caps up 2-1 with an amazing move and a heck of a shot.

I am currently taking classes at NOVA Community College at the Alexandria campus. I love going to Kettler for practices on my days off because it is not too crowed and it’s easier to meet the players.

I am super excited to be joining the FiCP crew this year. I’m a big stats guy and know a lot about the NHL, outside of the Caps and Hawks,  so look for some pretty interesting articles from me once the regular season starts. For now I won’t be doing too many articles because the Nats are in the playoffs and I have baseball fever!! Once that comes to an end, look for me to be very active on this page.

As a teaser, I have a few predictions for the team this year.  I think we are due for another huge year and I really think this is the year we win the cup. I’m expecting big things from some of the role players outside of Ovi and Nicki. I think Mojo and Burakovsky are going to really go off this year and have 60-point seasons!! Also if they can find “Stan the Man” Galiev some decent ice time, I easily think he could be a 20-goal per season type of guy.

I can’t wait for this season to start and this be the year we maybe get to see Ovi raise the cup he has worked so hard his whole career. The time is now for him to win it all and I think a 60-goal season is very likely for him this year.

There ya have it friends.  Welcome to the Family Chris!!

Round Two Stimga: Caps Keep Coming Back

Yea, we all know the Caps history.

We use the appearance of their star player Alex Ovechkin in 2005 as a starting milestone since many of our friends think the team’s success rests on the shoulders of Ovi. So, here’s where they stand:

They have made it to round 3 conference finals, oh never…

They have made it to round 2 four times, including this season.

They have made it to round 1  three times, including this season.

They totally missed the playoffs in the 2005/06, 2006/07, or 2013/14.

They haven’t made it to the Stanley Cup Final since the 1997/98; they have made it to the playoffs 26 times since 1974

We understand the cautious optimism that borders on a lack of expectation. However, we have all said, over and over, that THIS Capitals team is different. We believe this to be true and while we are on the cautiously optimistic side of the fence, we are holding our breath with everyone.

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This team has real depth. We have Stanley Cup winners who know what it takes to keep coming back.  In the course of six games, all but seven of the active roster players recorded a point, including goaltender Braden Holtby. One of those without a point was Brooks Orpik who was out for four games. Every player, with the exception of Mike Weber had at least one shot on goal during the series. Eight players scored at least one goal.

How do the Caps compare with the other teams that moved forward to round two? We find that for many of the teams more than nine players scored goals in Round 1. For all but three teams, every player has a shot on goal. On average, only five players on a team did not record a point. In the grand scheme of things, we are slightly under-performing when compared against the other league leaders. Slightly.

As the team starts round two against the Pens on Thursday we think the Caps will need to increase their shots across the board. Every player will need to be more intentional about creating opportunities in front of the net. And against the Pens – stay out of the box and watch your defense. As Coach Trotz said today, it will take the entire team.

We think THIS team is ready to play like a team. We think they are fully invested in getting to the final round, one game at a time. And we plan to be along for the ride!!

GO CAPS!!!

 

 

 

Worried about Kuzy?  Not Us.

At the end of the first round of the NHL Playoffs there was a lot of discussion about Evgeny Kuznetsov and his seemingly lack of play during the playoffs. Some sportscasters expressed extreme worry–others said it highlights his inexperience.

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Ok – so lets look at the numbers.

In six games he scored one goal on a power play.

In six games he did not record one assist.

In six games he had 20 shots on goal (SOG).

He has a -2.

All this from the guy who at the end of the regular season ranked third in the NHL for  assists and ninth in overall points

In his last six regular season games Kuzy averaged 19 SOG with three assists. In that same timeframe he averaged 17 minutes on the ice compared to an average of 16 minutes on the ice during the first round.

To put it in perspective, Evgeny ranks third on the team for SOG  during the playoffs. Alex Ovechkin has 29 and John Carlson has 25. He is one of four players with one goal; two others have two goals and two players have three (Ovi and Backstrom).  25635389551_84443ac444_o

We think it is way too early to think that Evgeny has lost the Kuzy-Magic. This was a tough series. He was in the thick of it. Like most of the players, they were shooting the puck and trying their best to score, but in at least two of those games there was this little problem named Michal Neuvirth.

Playing against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Kuzy has been pretty average. He has one goal and one assist in four games and averaged two shots per game. About what everyone did in those games. Like everyone, he will need to increase his physical presence and create as much activity in front of the Pens net as possible. Everyone will need to crash the net–repeatedly.

We have faith in Kuzy. He will get his groove. We will see the magic again.

26440339432_535448cacd_o    Carry on…