Happy Labor Day everyone! It’s the first day of September, meaning the start of the 2014-2015 Washington Capitals season is only 38 short days away! Here’s news and clips from all around the internet in this edition of Caps Clips.
Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin Play In “From Pure Heart” Charity Hockey Game in Russia
On Saturday, Alex Ovechkin traveled 45 miles from his Moscow home to participate in the fifth iteration of Ilya Kovalchuk’s charity hockey game held in neighboring Chekhov, home of KHL Vityaz. The proceeds of the game, which translates to “From Pure Heart,” raised $16 million rubles (or slightly under $500k dollars) for various orphanages.
The teams, captained by Kovalchuk and Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin, played to a 17-17 tie. The game featured a bunch of notable former NHL players including Alex Radulov (who played goalie!), Alexei Yashin, Nikolay Zherdev, Valeri Kamensky, Slava Fetisov, Slava Kozlov, and Alexei Kasatonov.
You have to love it when hockey helps out a great cause. Read the full story here.
How Many Goals Against Will the Caps Allow in 2014-15?
he team should be able to cut down on shots against, but may not be able to improve its save percentage… and that would be okay.
With the hiring of Barry Trotz and the signings of Brooks Orpik and Matt Niskanen, it looks like the Capitals will go into next season with a renewed focus on defense, a strategy that certainly makes some sense, considering the team ranked in the bottom-10 in the league in goals-against in 2013-14.
On a simplistic level, goals-against is a function of shots-against and save percentage; while the former is largely at the mercy of systems and personnel, the latter is a little (although not much) more predictable, since save percentage is largely driven by goalie talent (and randomness). But they’re both critically important components, obviously, and nothing hammers that point home like noting that last season’s woeful Capitals team defense that finished 21st in the League in goals-against actually ranked 6th in the NHL in save percentage, ahead of Stanley Cup contenders like St. Louis and San Jose; Washington’s big shortcoming was in shots-against, where they ranked 27th. At the rate the 2013-14 Caps gave up shots, they could have had the best save percentage in hockey and not broken into the top-six in the League in goals-against per game. You get the point.
How many goals will the Caps allow? Let’s go for zero. Read the full story here.
Updated odds to win the Stanley Cup in 2015
With just weeks remaining before NHL teams open up training camp and 38 days before the season gets underway, the favorites to win the Stanley Cup remain the Chicago Blackhawks. Slipping down on that list, surprisingly, are the Dallas Stars.