Good afternoon Washington, D.C., arctic affiliates and all snowbound satellites! This week was more about the weather than the wonder (- of hockey) as the Blizzard of 2016: The Snowening dumped over two feet of snow on the D.C. area. Two scheduled home contests were suspended (Friday against the Anaheim Ducks and Sunday against the Pittsburgh Penguins), and you remembered how quickly childlike whimsy can turn to homicidal frustration. "You'll have it plowed, WHEN?" At any rate, in keeping with format and tradition, Last week the Capitals went 1-X-X for two points and currently sit first in the Metropolitan Division, the Eastern Conference, and the NHL.
With only one game on tap this week, the Capitals can look to rest up, warm up and heal up as the Philadelphia Flyers come to town on Wednesday for a nationally-televised game. Let's take a look at this strange, beautiful thing we call life in this week's preview.
UFOs and Flying Saucers
The truth is out there, and I want to believe. Not in flying saucers, but saucer passes! That's right, "the X-Files" is more than just what your spouse calls your high-school yearbook. There are some strange, peculiar things that go bump in the night, and we aren't talking about Ovi's facial hair. Something is afoot in Washington...
Yes, the Capitals, en route to what could be a historic season, are posting some rather curious stats here and there. Let's take a look at some of the most interesting as we open up...The Jonx Files.
Subject: John Carlson | Position: Defenseman | Oddity: Possible Posthumous Production
John Carlson thought he could hide from the prying eyes of the crack detectives here at The Jonx Files, but Captain America got more than he diplomatically bargained for. Just take a look at this:
Despite having played a full DOZEN games fewer than his comrades due to injury, John Carlson still leads all defensemen in points, goals, and assists. Some (okay, a lot) of this is attributable to Carlson's use on the power play and with top-line forwards the likes of whom our mortal brains can but feign to fathom, but that doesn't mean that Johnny wasn't doing his job real well. The offensive production has been unreal for the Capitals in the last several weeks. Imagine how it will look with a healthy, healed Carlson back in action.
Subject: Brooks Orpik | Position: Defenseman | Oddity: Penalty Poltergeist
Brooks Orpik last played hockey in the late Cretaceous period, when thunderlizards ruled the earth and the only law was Dinosaur Law. Despite being placed on the Long-Term Injured Reserve thanks to a wrist injury suffered in early November, Brooks Love-Not-Laich still leads all defensemen in PIMs:
Again, this is with the rest of his competition having played over 3x as many games! Orpik brings some nice, old-school hold-em-and-hit-em defense, but - hey, turns out those things are penalties. Washington is still in the bottom half of the league in penalty minutes per game (08:53, good for 17th-most), and it seems like that may be due to the fact that every other Capitals defenseman is more disciplined than Brooks.
Also, check out Wilson above. Uh, wow.
And with that preview complete, we turn now to the segment that will still take at least two weeks to remove from residential streets and cul-de-sacs...LIABLE TO LIBEL: A BAKER'S (HALF) DOZEN LIES ABOUT THIS WEEK'S OPPONENT!
1. Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux is known around the locker room by his nickname "Donald Trump," because his goals are disgusting and his hands are baby soft.
2. Goalie Michal Neuvirth, like any Washington surplus, is being wasted in and around Philadelphia, PA.
3. Forward Sam Gagner's last name means "Win" in French, but nothing means win in Philly.
4. NHL legend and Flyers GM Ron Hextall named former University of North Dakota bench boss Dave Hakstol head coach this offseason, but Hextall was truthfully simply misheard when he self-referentially bellowed, "Hell, if we're going to hire someone from college we may as well hire Hextall!"
5. Sub-six-foot tall defenseman Mark Streit will be the only Streit plowed in Washington by Wednesday.
6. The Philadelphia Flyers lead the NHL in Game Misconduct penalties and are #2 in penalty minutes per game, to the surprise of one single person in Sri Lanka who had never heard of hockey.
So, there you have it, folks. Only one game on schedule this week, but it should be a doozy. Stay inside, stay warm, love your pets, and as always: Go Caps!