The Noon Number: Prop Bet Recap

SAN JOSE, CA - JANUARY 07: (L-R) Alex Ovechkin #8, Tomas Vokoun #29 and Alexander Semin #28 of the Washington Capitals prepare for warmups prior to their game against the San Jose Sharks at the HP Pavilion at San Jose on January 7, 2012 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Back during the dog days of last off-season, we tweaked our daily in-season Noon Number feature to present what amounted to a series of prop bets for the 2011-12 season on which readers would wager with their votes. The questions were designed to be thought-provoking, the discussions that ensued in the comments most certainly were, and the poll results gave some insight into the fan base's feelings at the time.

Fast-forward eleven months and a look back at the voting with the context of what actually transpired over the course of the season is both interesting on the individual question level and in the general optimism it reflected. Below are the questions posed (with a link to the post so you can re-read the conversations at the time), the poll results and, of course, how things played out. Taken as a whole, it's no wonder Vegas thrives the way it does...

Question: Which will be highest during the 2011-12 regular season: Tomas Vokoun's win total, the numbers of games in which Michal Neuvirth makes an appearance, or Alexander Semin's goal total? [Link]

Poll Results: Semin's goals (42%), Vokoun's wins (41%), Neuvirth's appearances (15%)

Reality: Neuvirth's appearances (38), Vokoun's wins (25), Semin's goals (21)

***

Question: Which will be greater in 2011-12, Marcus Johansson's faceoff percentage or Mike Knuble's point total? [Link]

Poll Results: Johansson's faceoff percentage (63%), Knuble's point total (36%)

Reality: Johansson's faceoff percentage (43.2), Knuble's point total (18)

***

Question: Who plays the most NHL regular season games in 2011-12: Cody Eakin, Braden Holtby or Dmitry Orlov? [Link]

Poll Results: Eakin (38%), Orlov (34%), Holtby (27%)

Reality: Orlov (60 games played), Eakin (30), Holtby (7)

Question: Which is more likely to happen in 2011-12: Nicklas Backstrom tallying 62 assists or Brooks Laich scoring 20 goals? [Link]

Poll Results: Laich with 20 goals (55%), Backstrom with 62 assists (44%)

Reality: Laich scored 16 goals in 82 games, Backstrom tallied 30 assists in 42 games

***

Question: Which is more likely: that Alex Ovechkin will have no 50-goal seasons over the rest of his career or that he'll have at least two such campaigns? [Link]

Poll Results: Two or more fifty-goal seasons (81%), zero fifty-goal seasons (18%)

Reality: Ovechkin scored 38 goals in 2011-12, and the clock's ticking...

***

Question: Who will score more regular season goals in 2011-12 - Jason Chimera or Joel Ward? [Link]

Poll Results: Ward (77%), Chimera (22%)

Reality: Chimera (20 goals), Ward (6)

***

Question: Which is more likely in 2011-12: the Caps power-play is better than 22% efficient or the penalty kill remains above 85%? [Link]

Poll Results: The power play tops 22% (52%), the penalty kill tops 85% (47%)

Reality: Power play (16.7), penalty kill (81.6)

***

Question: Which milestone is more likely to be reached in 2011-12: Vokoun's 300th career win (he currently has 262 and needs 38 wins) or Mike Green's 300th career point (he currenly has 244 and needs 56 points)? [Link]

Poll Results: Green (64%), Vokoun (35%)

Reality: Vokoun won 25 games, Green had seven points

***

Question: Which will be greater in 2011-12: the number of goals scored by Caps defensemen or the number scored by Alexander Semin? [Link]

Poll Results: Capitals defensemen (61%), Alexander Semin (38%)

Reality: Capitals defensemen (30 goals), Alexander Semin (21)

***

Question: Which will be more in 2011-12: Matt Hendricks' fighting majors or total fighting majors for the rest of the team? [Link]

Poll Results: The rest of the team (65%), Hendricks (34%)

Reality: The rest of the team (15), Hendricks (11)

***

Question: Who will have more points in 2011-12: Troy Brouwer or John Carlson? [Link]

Poll Results: Brouwer (57%), Carlson (42%)

Reality: Brouwer (33 points), Carlson (32)

***

Question: Which of Scott Cullen's projected Cap point totals will be closest to hitting the mark? [Link]

Poll Results: Alex Ovechkin 102 points (30%), Nicklas Backstrom 80 points (20%), Brooks Laich 49 points (11%), Alexander Semin 61 points (7%), Marcus Johansson 32 points (6%), Mike Knuble 36 points (5%), John Carlson 39 points (4%), Mike Green 48 points (4%), Troy Brouwer 42 points (3%), Joel Ward 33 points (2%), Dennis Wideman 38 points (2%)

Reality: Alexander Semin (7 points off), John Carlson (7), Brooks Laich (8), Dennis Wideman (8), Troy Brouwer (9), Marcus Johansson (14), Joel Ward (15), Mike Knuble (18), Nicklas Backstrom (36), Alex Ovechkin (37), Mike Green (41)

***

Question: Which will be greater in 2011-12 (regular season only): Nicklas Backstrom's assist total or Mike Green's games played? [Link]

Poll Results: Green's games played (58%), Backstrom's assist total (41%)

Reality: Green's games played (32), Backstrom's assist total (30)

***

Question: Over/Under: 17 goals for Marcus Johansson in the 2011-12 regular season? [Link]

Poll Results: Over (71%), Under (28%)

Reality: Johansson scored 14 goals

***

Question: Which will be greater during in 2011-12 season (including playoffs): total goals scored by the Washington Capitals or total points scored by the Washington Redskins? [Link]

Poll Results: Redskins points (52%), Capitals goals (47%)

Reality: Redskins points (288), Capitals goals (247)

***

Question: Which will be greater in 2011-12 (regular season only): Jason Chimera's point total or Alex Ovechkin's plus-minus? [Link]

Poll Results: Ovechkin's +/- (76%), Chimera's point total (23%)

Reality: Chimera's point total (39), Ovechkin's +/- (-8)

***

Question: Which will be greater in 2011-12 (regular season only): Jeff Schultz's hit total or the number of opposing goals he's on the ice for? [Link]

Poll Results: Hits (50%), Goals against (49%)

Reality: Hits (49), Goals against (38)

***

Question: Will Alex Ovechkin top 400 shots on goal during the 2011-12 regular season? [Link]

Poll Results: Yes (59%), No (40%)

Reality: Ovechkin registered 303 shots on goal during the regular season.

***

Question: Will Nicklas Backstrom (who scored 18 goals last season and 33 the year before) score more or fewer than 25 goals during the 2010-11 regular season? [Link]

Poll Results: More (61%), Fewer (38%)

Reality: Backstrom scored 14 goals in 42 games, a 27-goal 82-game pace.

***

Question: Will (note: not "should") Brooks Laich spend more even-strength time on the wing or at center during the 2011-12 season? [Link]

Poll Results: Wing (71%), Center (28%)

Reality: It's difficult to accurately measure how much time Laich spent at each position, but he did lead the team in faceoffs-taken by a wide margin.

***

Question: Who will lead the Caps in shorthanded ice time per-game during the 2011-12 regular season? [Link]

Poll Results: Karl Alzner (34%), Jeff Schultz (13%), Jeff Halpern (12%), Dennis Wideman (11%), John Carlson (9%), Brooks Laich (6%), Roman Hamrlik (5%), Mike Green (3%), Joel Ward (1%), Other (0%)

Reality: Karl Alzner (2:44 SH TOI per game), Brooks Laich (2:28), John Carlson (2:27), Dennis Wideman (1:56), Jeff Halpern (1:44), Roman Hamrlik (1:43), Troy Brouwer (1:30), Jeff Schultz (1:20), Matt Hendricks (1:13), Mike Green (1:10), Mike Knuble (1:09), Jay Beagle (1:03), Nicklas Backstrom (1:00), Jason Chimera (0:54), Joel Ward (0:37)

***

Question: Which of the criteria below are the 2011-12 Caps least likely to achieve?

Poll Results: Shots for per game of 31 or better (17%), Power-play percentage of 17 or better (16%), Penalty-kill percentage of 81 or better (12%), Shot differential per game of 2.8 or better (10%), Shots against per game of 31 or lower (9%), Goals against per game of 2.6 or lower (8%), Goals for per game of 2.8 or better (8%) A .500 record or better vs. the top 8 projected teams (6%), Team save percentage of .910 or better (5%), Goal differential per game of 0.2 or better (2%)

Reality: The Caps came up short on the following (with their total in parens): Shots for per game of 31 or better (28.0), Power-play percentage of 17 or better (16.7), Shot differential per game of 2.8 or better (-2.2), Goals against per game of 2.6 or lower (2.76), Goals for per game of 2.8 or better (2.66), A .500 record or better vs. the top 8 projected teams (10-10-4), Goal differential per game of 0.2 or better (-0.1); The Caps did manage to achieve the following: Penalty-kill percentage of 81 or better (81.6), Shots against per game of 31 or lower (30.2), Team save percentage of .910 or better (0.912)

***

Question: Who will (note: not "should") spend the most time opposite Alex Ovechkin on the right wing in 2011-12? [Link]

Poll Results: Mike Knuble (65%), Troy Brouwer (21%), Alexander Semin (6%), Joel Ward (5%), Other (0%)

Reality: Ovechkin's top even-strength right wing was Brouwer, followed by Semin, Johansson and Knuble. [Source]

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