Today's WaPo discusses the Caps' desire to cut down on the number of shots they're allowing. Partner that with allowing fewer goals and scoring more and the team may be on to something. The WTimes notes that shootouts are fan-friendly. Tomorrow, look for Dave Fay's article on how ice is cold.
Elswehere around the League:
- Jeremy Roenick's mouth is running again, and this time he's calling out Caps fans. Quoth JR, ""When we watch hockey games and see 8,000 fans in [Washington] D.C., you cringe as a player. Those cities that aren't pulling their weight in terms of drawing fans and revenue are hurting everybody as a whole, not just that city." Roenick is referring to the escrow provision of the CBA and makes a couple of valid points, but, if I recall correctly, his side lost in the labor dispute, hence this unfavorable provision. And what did he expect after a prolonged work stoppage? An immediate increase in ticket sales? Major League Baseball saw attendance drop by around 25% after its last work stoppage. By contrast, the Caps, who were drawing nearly 15,000 fans per game before the lockout, are actually averaging 12,100 fans per game so far this season (not the 8,000 Roenick cites, but what's 50% between friends?). In other words, the Caps are drawing at better than 80% of their pre-lockout attendance. That is more than pulling our weight, JR, in covering for your union's disregard for and abandonment of the fans.
- On to more pleasant news, the Edmonton Oilers' retiring of Paul Coffey's jersey last night in a pre-game ceremony. Take a look at Coffey's career numbers. Absolutely staggering. In 1985-86 he had 48 goals and 138 points. By contrast, the entire 2003-04 Oiler defense had 44 goals and 149 points. There's plenty of good Coffey coverage out there, most of it reachable through The Battle of Alberta, so head over there for more.
- Speaking of Hall of Fame defensemen, Brian Leetch picked up his 1,000th career point on an assist last night. Congrats to him.
- The Coyotes have traded Jeff Taffe to the Rangers for Jamie Lundmark. After acquiring the lesser Hossas and Fedorovs, I'm wondering if Taffe has an older, more talented brother of whom I'm not aware.
- Finally, the Habs paid tribute to some baseball team that I'd never heard of last night.
- Hart: Alexander Mogilny (G, 2A, including setting up the game-tying and scoring the game-winning goals, making up for his early giveaway that led to Florida's first tally)
- Ross: Brendan Morrison, Alexander Mogilny, Alexei Kovalev (3 points each)
- Norris: Mattias Ohlund (2G, +2)
- Vezina: Curtis Joseph (W, 27 saves on 30 shots against)
- Richard: Oleg Saprykin, Mattias Ohlund (2G each)
- Calder: Alexander Perezhogin (G, A)