After a trio of one-goal games on a tough road trip in which the Caps were only able to salvage a pair of points in the standings, the regular season is now roughly 1/10th complete and things are starting to settle a bit statistically. Let's have a look at the week what was in Corsi. But first, here's the year-to-date Corsi Rating for each skater on the team on a per game, per sixty minutes of even strength ice time rate (click to enlarge):
There's no change at the top or bottom from last week, as Sergei Fedorov and Boyd Gordon once again provide the bookends. Chris Clark and Tomas Fleischmann moved to the right side of zero, as neither had a game in the red, and Eric Fehr slipped from the black to the red thanks to one bad game (a minus-5 in Phoenix) and his small number of games played.
The big movers this week include Tyler Sloan, who saw the first action of his NHL career and was a team-best plus-13 last night (which hardly makes up for that bad clear in the 'Yotes game), Flash, Clark and Michael Nylander on the plus side, and Donald Brashear, Fehr, Fedorov and Nicklas Backstrom on the negative side. Some of these swings, on both sides, of course, can be attributed to unsustainably high or low early season numbers levelling out a bit (see Fedorov).
In terms of raw numbers, Nylander lead the team this week (at plus-24), and was on of four Caps to have a positive rating in each of the three games (Fedorov, Mike Green and Clark were the others; Fleischmann was positive in two games and even in one). Fleischmann, Clark, Green and Sloan round out the top five for the week. On the other side of the ledger, Gordon was minus-ten on the week, and Brashear, Backstrom, Fehr and David Steckel were all in the minus-five to minus-seven range.
In case you're wondering, Alex Ovechkin was plus-one for the week (2, -2, 1), which, for a guy who was averaging plus-eight per game coming into the week, is obviously not getting it done. Hopefully, getting Viktor Kozlov back will help.
How do these numbers mesh with what you've been seeing on the ice at even strength? Is the Fleischmann-Nylander-Clark line (by far the team's best in terms of Corsi Rating last night) a combo that you see sticking going forward? Is Shaone Morrisonn the most over-rated player on the team? Could Tyler Sloan be an NHL defenseman (at least in as much as Milan Jurcina or John Erskine are)? [My answers, for what it's worth, would be Yes, Maybe and No.] Does anything else jump out at you?
I'd say my three answers are:
- definately yes;
- no, I don't think any of the Caps are over-rated;
- maybe, yes his botched clear in Phoenix was not good; but his hits, his +/- and his goal last night are pretty good, good enough to warrant consideration.
If the Caps continue to play the way they have been they are going to have trouble making the playoffs again this year.
2 UFCF: By "over-rated" I mean among the Caps' fan base, not League-wide (where I'd agree that it's hard to find any Cap whose value is over-stated).
I've said it before - I think Mo's reputation (again, among the base) as a very good defensive defenseman is vastly overblown. Just in the past two games he's made a couple of positively atrocious plays on big goals (the second Phoenix goal and the Modano game-tying goal last night). He needs to be better.
2) Holy crap YES. How anyone can think Morrisonn is anything but a bum is beyond me.
3) Probably. Warrants consideration when you think about the horribleness that is Jurcina. One bad clear is a rookie mistake, no doubt. Jurcina sitting there, staring at the puck enterting the net every time he's on the ice is just plain bad.
It's interesting how quickly the tide has turned against ShaMo--until this season there really was no discouraging words heard.
But you may be on to something; even his most ardent supporter must have been pretty disgusted by the Phoenix goal.
So now, the question that should be on everyone's mind--
If Morrisonn moves down in the pecking order (or, heaven forbid, is traded), who pairs with Greenie?
Schultz--to keep up the stay-at-home Reekieness to Greener's Gonchar? Poti, cause he's the second best D on the team? Wait! What's that? Do I hear music? Is that the Kaptain Karl theme playing off in the distance?
1. Yup, though I could wish Clark would show up more.
2. Not sure. I think the problem is at least partly that Mo's partner isn't where he's supposed to be either. >.< Greenie has GOT to stop joining the rush until he's got his defensive game straight. Like a bunch of others - back to basics.
3. I think it's too early to write Sloan off. If we wrote off every rookie for a single mistake, we'd never get a rookie defenseman. IMHO, he's done well on his NHL debut given how shaky the defenders around him are.
I'd take Sloan over Erskine... Wait, we just signed him to a 2-year extension? Damn.
But yeah, I feel like they play a similar, stay-at-home, physical style. Except Tyler can skate.
Bil... I've been calling him a bum for a while. I'm just far more vocal about it since lately people think he's actually good. (Hint: He's not)
Our defense is in trouble right now. Poti is really the only one I feel is GOOD. That's a bad thing.
Wondering what everyone's thoughts/opinions are on Steckel as a healthy scratch for past 2 games?
I thought he was in the lineup against Dallas. Could've sworn I heard his name. If he was a scratch, then I guess that shows how noticable he's been this year.
I think the guy's a pretty solid player, not great, not bad. He would shine in the face-off circle, but that seems to be a weakness this year. :(
I think they mentionend his name as a scratch, I heard it too.
1)no, bb shuffles too much.
2)yes, I think so.
3)Jurcina? Yes. Erskine? No.
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