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Friday Roundup/Ersk-win?

Apparently it's not just Steve Eminger that plays better with John Erskine in the lineup. KB points out that the Caps are a different team when the big man plays, and he uses numbers to back up his assertion (a novel concept). Now, I'm not one to confuse correlation and causation (hey, I read "Freakonomics"), but the numbers are certainly worth noting:

  • Caps record with Erskine in the linuep: 9-7-5
  • Caps record without Erskine in the lineup: 14-21-5
  • Caps goals against average with Erskine in the lineup: 3.29
  • Caps goals against average without Erskine in the lineup: 3.63
As for the theory that the GAA with Erskine in the lineup is helped by him having played a larger percentage of his games during the "trap" era, consider that the team's goals-per-game average when Erskine plays is 3.05. Without Big John Stud? 2.95.

Elsewhere 'Round the Rinks:

Another gem about our buddy in Rangerland - per Larry Brooks:

It is unfathomable. In what, by definition, was the most important game of the Rangers' season, because each succeeding match becomes the most important for the unsuccessful 11th-place Blueshirts, Jaromir Jagr did not participate in a shootout that went four rounds against Martin Brodeur.

The Rangers captain did not shoot for the sixth consecutive time after two initial misses because he previously told Tom Renney he does not feel confident enough to participate in the one-on-one showdown in which the great ones generally thrive.

It is unimaginable that Jagr, battered and bruised though both his left shoulder and psyche must be, would not demand to go. It is beyond belief that he would not demand the opportunity to have the game on his stick, if for no other reason than to prove himself unafraid of failure to his teammates.

It is inconceivable that he would not try to keep the Rangers alive when trailing 2-1 in the shootout in a game they once led 2-0 but would lose 3-2.

"I'm not good anymore," Jagr told The Post when asked why he wasn't on Renney's list. "That's the reason."

Is it safe to say that the honeymoon is over?

Daily Awards

  • Hart: Martin St. Louis (Game-winning OT goal, 2A, +2, 3 SOG)
  • Ross: Seven players tied with 3 points each
  • Norris: Alexandre Picard (G, A, +1, 2 hits, 4 blocked shots in OT loss)
  • Vezina: Dwayne Roloson (28-save shutout win)
  • Richard: Dany Heatley, Trent Hunter, Shawn Horcoff, Tomas Vanek (2G each)
  • Calder: Alexandre Picard (see above)
  • Aiken: Ray Emery (L, 3 goals allowed on 12 shots against in just 25:09 of work before racking up 22 PIMs and getting kicked out)