Thursday, November 13, 2008

Breathe In, Breathe Out

Early this morning was, I believe, the first time this season that the temperature outside has been low enough that I've been able to see my breath upon a deep exhale. From time to time upon such an occurrence, I'm reminded of one of my all-time favorite hockey photos:

This year, of course, that photo has a little more meaning, considering that its subject is now "one of ours."

A lot has changed in the five years (from next Saturday, in fact) since that pic was snapped - outdoor games are still special, but no longer unique events; Jose Theodore has changed teams twice; the Caps have changed uniforms and an entire roster (with the exceptions of Alex Semin and Boyd Gordon) - and Theodore's fortunes have changed as well. Just take a gander at the numbers before and since that ridiculously cold Edmonton evening:
  • Before: 298 games played, 116-134-30 record, 2.53 goals against average, .913 save percentage
  • Since: 147 games played, 70-65-10 record, 2.90 GAA, .896 SV%
As his averages have gotten worse, his record has gotten better. Huh.

Anyway, it will be interesting to see if the five-year anniversary of The Heritage Classic receives much attention around the hockey world, perhaps with a couple of predictable and cliche interviews with players who were on the ice that day spread across the internet or a "where are they now?" segment on Hockey Night In Canada. One thing is for certain, however - Jose Theodore is not now where he was then, and until he gets back there, Caps fans will be waiting to exhale.


Mike said...

Isn't it likely that the worse numbers/better record phenomenon can be explained in large part by rule changes that make it easier to score goals?

Ogre said...

What about playing on a better team?

~Mark said...

The wins compared to GAA/Save% remind me of Olie's song and dance last year, that as long as he's winning, he's fine.
That is a joke.

CD said...

JP, seriously, did you just end a post w/ a Waiting to Exhale reference?

Oh. My.

JP said...

Dig it, CD. Dig it.