Friday, March 14, 2008

Friday Roundup/Gamenight: Thrash @ Caps

[AP Preview - Preview]

I've got some good news and some bad news. Which do you want first? The bad? You don't get a preview of tonight's game from me (I know, you're crying). But as this is the 43rd time the Caps have played Atlanta this season, you shouldn't need one (though here's a little nugget for you - Atlanta is 2-9-3 in the second game of back-to-backs, and they had a barn-burner with Calgary last night).

The good news? I've got an awesome Friday time waster for you - the Japers' Rink Eastern Conference Playoff Predictor, which I have shamelessly ripped off from Battle of Alberta. Think the Caps still have a shot at the playoffs? Think they're done? Not sure? Predict the rest of the season's games that matter and you'll find the answers to all of your questions. Note: it's an Excel doc, so when you click on the thumbnail below you'll be prompted to download a file (don't worry, I've been checked out - no viruses here), then open it, follow the directions and you're on your way.

So are you throwing down a deposit on playoff tickets or drowning your sorrows? Let us know how your top eight pans out in the comments, and keep The Predictor on your desktop, update it daily, feed and water it, etc. - it's yours now.

Ovechkin Watch:

Next goal: 57 - Most goals scored in a season since the lockout (breaking Jonathan Cheechoo's mark set in 2005-06); Most goals scored in his first three seasons in the League by a European-born player (breaking Pavel Bure's mark of 154)

Career vs. Atlanta: 22 games, 17 goals
2007-08 vs. Atlanta: 6 games, 3 goals

Elsewhere 'Round the Rinks:

Olie Kolzig as the all-time face of the franchise - what do you think?... Ted Leonsis was on the Junks earlier in the week and the interview can be heard here (segments 6, 7 and 8 from 3/12; h/t to Rage) Bengt Gustafsson's son Anton may already be a top NHL prospect, but another Swedish Cap pivot's kid may not be far behind (h/t to Rich for the link).... Matt Pettinger misses the Caps more than they miss him.... Justin Mrazek (8th round, 2004) has been solid for Union College.... I haven't the foggiest idea who Nathan Schwartzbauer is, but the Caps are his favorite team, so he can't be all bad (and yes, that might be the most worthless link I've ever posted)....Memo to GMGM: sign Mike Green before he reads this article.... Finally, one year ago today we railed against a silly rule change and two years ago today we heard about the team's summer plans and noted a couple of fantastic Daniel Alfredsson quotes.

Daily Awards
  • Hart: Ilya Kovalchuk (3G, A, +2, 5 SOG)
  • Ross: Ilya Kovalchuk (4 points)
  • Norris: Brent Burns (G, A, +2, 7 SOG)
  • Vezina: Martin Gerber (28-save shutout win)
  • Richard: Ilya Kovalchuk (3G)
  • Calder: Erik Ersberg (W, 37 saves on 38 shots against)
  • Aiken: Mathieu Garon (L, 3 goals allowed on 14 shots against in 24:55 of work)


sacamano said...

Nice work JP,

It looks like you've improved the design, too, although I wasn't able to download it because it kept saying that I need to ask you to share it with me, etc.

Probably for the best. I waste enough time with the Western Conference tinkering.

JP said...

Ack - forgot to set the sharing to "public" (first time I've used that host). Should be good to go now - anyone get it to work?


1)Works great! Takes some time and other than "predicting" Thursday 3/13 games, its a dart throw
2) Earlier this season we tried to predict games and just staying above .500 is super hard. Can't imagine trying to gamble money on NHL games especially when you have to give/take goals when one gambles
3) Its hard enough trying to predict games on the same day taking into account recent trends. Like tonight you'd have to think the caps have the advantage playing home against the Thrashers who played last night and have sucked recently. Beyond a day or two, its just a very un-educated guess
4) Of course had to complete the form to see how it would turn out:
1 Penguins
2 Senators
3 Devils
4 Canadiens
5 Hurricanes
6 Rangers
7 Capitals
8 Flyers
9 Bruins
10 Maple Leafs
11 Panthers
12 Sabres
13 Thrashers
14 Islanders
15 Lightning

sacamano said...

Works great now.

I'm glad you were able to figure out my, admittedly, extremely messy hidden columns and formulae.

One of these days I'll work on that divisional leader thing.

PPP said...

sacamano, it was a little tricky. Sneaky hidden columns.

JP - I guess great minds think alike...

b.orr4 said...

I don't need no stinking chart (just joking) to know that if the Caps sweep these weekend games (incl. beating Boston in regulation)at the very worst they'll end up four points out of eighth and at the very best one point out. I'm still torn who I should root for in Saturday's Boston-Philly game, but it can't be a 3 point game. Needless to say this is a huge weekend.

tg said...

Not to cause any problems, but for at least part of a preview for tonight: I was at the Wizards-Cavaliers game last night at Verizon Center. It was a full house, it was a late start (8 pm), and it was really really warm in there. Given that it's supposed to be close to 70 today, with another big crowd expected, the ice may be closer to slush than anyone hopes.

The Peerless said...


Now, I won't do anything else today but run scenarios...

...there goes my weekend.

Paul Nichols said...

Okay, I figured it from our perspective. Caps go 8-1-2 over the last 11. Flyers go 5-4-2. Caps finish with 92 pts, Flyers with 91.

Caps lose outright to Carolina, and OTL to Bruins and Carolina. They smack the teams they SHOULD beat :
Thrashers twice,
Predators once,
Blackhawks once,
Lightning twice,
Panthers twice.

Of course, it would help if Philly would go in the tank, but I'm not counting on that. The Caps have to make it or break it.

doubleas said...

I even included lots of OT games
Caps go 9-2 with some OTWs sprinkled in. Both the Bruins and Flyers go 3-6-2 due to injuries and tough schedules (ok, so I'm more biased than I though).

I'm not knowledgable in Excel but it would be nice to see each team's record pulled out so we know how we're predicting teams to finish automatically. Anybody know how to do that?

Devils 109
Penguins 106
Canadiens 106
Senators 106
Rangers 102
Hurricanes 99
Capitals 92
Bruins 88
Flyers 87
Sabres 85
Panthers 84
Maple Leafs 84
Thrashers 78
Islanders 72
Lightning 65

daveukcapsfan said...

Great stuff this.

I ended up with:

1. Devils
2. Habs
3. Canes
4. PITTSburgh
5. Sens
6. Rangers
7. Bruins
8. Caps
9. Flyers
10. Panthers
11. Sabres
12. Leafs
13. Thrashers
14. Isles
15. Lightning

JP said...

@ PPP: It's good to offer people American and Canadian versions.

@ doubleas: I didn't have time to pull that together (maybe I'll do an updated version if I find the time), but thought the same - a column that automatically pulled together the teams' records the rest of the way would be sweet.

Ogre said...

I finished up with the Caps having 92 points as well...Might be fate. However, dunno how, they ended in 5th. (Third, as Carolina somehow slumped to 9th.)

~Mark said...

First of JP, thanks for this truly great Friday time-spender (waster sounds so...negative).

@b.orr4 ~ Based on my projections, root against Philly in a BIG way. If Philly tanks (assuming we win a lot), our chances are good for the 8th.

To anyone with the Caps winning the SE, or any higher than 8th...what are you smoking?

Here's my caveats based on my prediction of the Caps finishing 1 point ahead of Philly, one behind Boston, in the 8th seed:

*The Caps must go 8-2-1 or 9-2-0
*Either Boston or Philly need to play <= .500 hockey.
*If either Boston or Philly really tanks, it will help too.
*If Philly is even a game over .500 (and Boston plays at least .500 hockey), we’re done even going 8-2-0.
*If Buffalo really comes on, it may not matter how we play.

BROWN said...

awesome, but you have the isles playing 2 games on mar 23rd.

JP said...

@ Brown: Oops! That second game (and the OTT/MTL game) are actually on Monday, March 24.

matzohboy said...

@Peerless: today is your entire weekend? Dude, get out more :)

Scott said...

Justin Mrazek...I thought he was the kid from Richmond that sang crappy pop songs...

Chris said...

Philly has a very tough schedule to end the season and Buffalo is hurting, so the opportunity is definitely there for the taking.

dmg said...

Suddenly I like Excel a lot more than I ever have...I didn't even know you could make stuff like this

Norm said...

The Playoff Predictor is very cool, thanks - until the Caps are mathematically eliminated, I'm hoping.

Anonymous said...

I thought one of our unsung heroes - Gordon - had another very solid game tonight, especially along the boards.

HELLO Sami, BUH BYE Erskine.

Ogre said...

As a big Erskine fan, I'd have no objections to him dropping to our 7th d-man.
Lepisto > Erskine > Eminger.
Oh wow, Lepisto didn't miss a beat.

Btw - it wasn't just Gordon who looked good tonight. That line of Brash - Gordon - Bradley was just dominant.

Hope is alive.

Anonymous said...

Totally agree - entire line was great, just noticed Gordo more on the telly.
Who were the 3 stars tonight?