The Washington Capitals made their way to the Sunshine State Wednesday night following their 2-1 shootout loss to the Islanders. They next do battle with the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight at Amelie Arena. Puck drop is set for 7PM on NBC Sports Washington (local) and ESPN+ (National)..
The team did not hold a gameday morning skate on Thursday due to the late arrival time in Tampa last night. Capitals bench boss Peter Laviolette met with the media when the team arrived at the arena Thursday afternoon.
Darcy Kuemper will get the start for the second consecutive night, per Roman Stubbs/The Washington Post.
Conor Sheary has recorded 35 points (15g, 20a) and a +7 plus/minus rating in 75 games. Sheary is the only Capital to play in all 75 of the team’s games this season and has played in 199 of Washington’s 213 games (93.4 percent) since the start of the 2020-21 season, tied with Nick Jensen for the most games played in that span.
Sheary’s 48 goals since joining Washington for the 2020-21 season rank third on the team in that span (Alex Ovechkin: 116; T.J. Oshie: 52), while his 41 even-strength goals rank second (Ovechkin: 76). Sheary is one of 24 players in the NHL this season to score at least 10 even strength goals, two power-play goals and two shorthanded goals. Among the 24 players to accomplish this, Sheary’s average ice time (15:31) is the lowest. [MORE HERE].
STAT OF THE DAY – THE PERFORMANCE OF DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS
Today’s stat of the day takes a look at the deployment of each and every defensive pairing for the Capitals since John Carlson returned from injury (three games). The graph plots the time on ice (TOI), offensive zone faceoff percentages and expected goals for percentages (xGF%) at five on five. [Click to enlarge].
Pairings with more than 15 minutes of time on ice together (at five on five) have been flagged and given a simple color coding with regards to general performance. So far things are going relatively well for the van Riemsdyk-Alexeyev and Jensen-Sandin pairings. Carlson-Fehervary are getting there…we hope.
[The statistics used in this post are courtesy of Natural Stat Trick, MoneyPuck and the NoVa Caps Advanced Analytics Model (NCAAM). If you’d like to learn more about the statistical terms used in this post, please check out our NHL Analytics Glossary]
DOWN ON THE FARM
Today’s “Down On The Farm” update is brought to you by KimRB (from the comments) Well done, Kim!:
All five prospects in Canadian juniors are in the playoffs. Playoffs start tonight in the OHL. [MORE HERE]
Hitting the books in college: Ryan Chesley’s Minnesota Golden Gophers face Boston University in the Frozen Four on April 6.
Goalie Chase Clark’s Quinnipiac faces Michigan on April 8, but don’t look for the freshman to do anything but model a ballcap on the bench. He’s locked in as backup to junior record setting starter Yanev Perets.
In Europe: Ivan Miroshnichenko’s MHL team Omskie Yastreby goes to the semifinals against SKA 1946 on April 3. Ivan is 26th in playoff scoring, with 2 + 5 in 7 games. [MORE HERE]
Over in Switzerland: Tobias Geisser’s Zug EV is zugging along, going to the semifinals, after beating Raperswil. Their next series starts tomorrow night against Servette. Tobias has 1 + 3 = 4 points in 6 playoff games, good for 24th in playoff scoring.
Still yodeling in the Swiss Alps, Damien Riat’s Lausanne didn’t make the playoffs.
Off for some Swedish meatballs. Oskar Magnusson’s AIK fell to Malmo 4-2, with Oskar going pointless.
Ludwig Person’s BIK Karlskoga was swept by Djurgarden, with Luddy being held off the scoresheet. So he is officially a “Missing Persson” (I pray he makes the NHL. I will NEVER get tired of making puns with his name). Both Swedes play in second tier Allsvenskan, roughly equivalent to the AHL
The Bears, of course, have punched their ticket to the dance, Stingrays haven’t yet, but could soon.
2023 AHL Post-Collegiate Signings and More. [Full Press Hockey]
- NHLPA boss Walsh outlines early priorities in new role. [TSN]
Phoenix sues Tempe to stop Arizona Coyotes development deal. [AZCentral]
- Hobey Baker Award Finalists Announced [Pro Hockey Rumors]
- And finally, congratulations to Ilya Samsonov and his wife in the birth of their first child:
Samsonov added it’s been an emotional experience cuddling his new son “his skin is so warm. he is so cute”, but was too queasy about being in the delivery room for the birth. “The doctor (who speaks Russian) said do you want to see?, I said ‘no, just call me after’.”
— Lance Hornby 🇺🇦 (@sunhornby) March 28, 2023
Ilya Samsonov on birth of first child:
“Probably the best week in my life. A lot of emotion … last four days we stay all together & at home is unbelievable. I feel perfect. When he comes on my skin, you feel so warmy. He’s so cute.”
📸 via samsonov_30 on Instagram pic.twitter.com/bvsXenR87l
— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) March 28, 2023
I’m reading hearing goaltending has been an issue this season!
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Is this going to be the only conversation the remaining of Ovie’s career here in Washington. Whether or not he can break #99 goal scoring record. When the topic should be can the Caps win another Stanley Cup before Ovechkin retires.
I, for one, can guarantee you that Ovi’s goal chase will not be the only topic of conversation around here for the foreseeable future. I plan to post some articles about the draft and Capitals’ prospects. Those are topics of special interest to me, and the reason why I came to this blog, because they focus on prospects. The last Caps-centric blog I hung at (won’t mention any names, but was named for a quote from Ovechkin) seemed to have devolved into too many puff pieces, like weddings and babies. Seemed more like TMZ sometimes.
If you don’t like the focus on Ovi’s goal chase, to the detriment of the team, you might consider dropping Ted Leonsis an email.
As per you note on Sheary, that is one reason I would like to keep him and place him on either the 2nd or 3rd line. That is why I would rather have Sheary than NAK even though he is older.
On another note Jon; wondering what Wilson will be asking for after next season? I am going to assume that Mantha does not get offered a contract however with Wilson, Protas, Sadin all in need of new contracts and with Lindgren 1 year from needing one, and with Wilson being 31 shortly after the season ends, thinking he will be looking for a contract similar to Kuzy or Carlson in terms of dollars and length. Wondering what he would bring in trade and would the Caps commit those years and dollars to him at 31?
I’m with ya, regarding Sheary. However, he is a UFA and I fear some team is going to offer him an inflated deal (term and value). It’s really his decision.
Wilson’s next contract is a good point for discussion, and something we will assess and do a post on in the coming days.
I like MoJo over Sheary more valuable
LOL. Not accusing you, or anyone, specifically, but there was some serious anti-Marcus dislike at the beginning of the season. One person here told me that Johansson would be waived to open a spot for Protas, before the season. Which is ludicrous, because you don’t sign a player for $1.5M just to waive him. Funny how perspectives have changed.
???? His birthday was yesterday. He won’t turn 31 “shortly after next season”. He’ll turn 31 at the end of the season after that.
Kuemper again?! What are we doing?
Says a lot about team’s perspective on Lindgren.
Lindgren has been struggling.
I think if Hershey was not in the playoffs they would probably call up a few players however our lame duck HC would not play them.