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Mid-Day Memories: 30-Minute Men

A look back at some heavy lifting for various Caps over the years

Sergie Gonchar #55

Today John Carlson carries a heavy load for the Caps when it comes to ice time - but even his heftiest night rarely tops the 30-minute mark. In the franchise’s history, however, we’ve seen players for whom a 30-minute night was much more frequent. It is an interesting array. For instance, did you know that…

  • Since 1997-98, the Caps have had 17 different players log at least 30 minutes of ice time at least once. But only two players have been “30-30” players, logging games of 30 or more minutes at least 30 times. Sergei Gonchar did it 34 times in 654 games with the Caps, while Mike Green did it 31 times in 575 games as a Capital.
  • Gonchar and Green had somewhat different experiences when it came to production in these games. In Gonchar’s 34 games with 30 or more minutes, he recorded only five goals and 23 points (three two-point games), and he had a minus-5 rating. Further, the Caps were just 8-12-3 (with 11 ties) in those 34 games. On the other hand, in Mike Green’s 31 games with 30 or more minutes, the Caps were 11-8-12, over which he had a scoring line of 13-21-34, plus-9. Green had eight multi-point games among this group of games, including a three-point game when he logged 30:05 in a 5-4 overtime win over the New York Rangers on December 12, 2007. He had the game-winning overtime goal.
  • Green’s three-point game against the Rangers was one of four three-point games recorded by Caps when logging 30 or more minutes. The four games were recorded by four different players: Green, Dmitri Mironov (1-2-3, even, in 31:04 of a 4-2 win over the New Jersey Devils on November 13, 1999), Calle Johansson (0-3-3, even, in 30:52 in a 3-3 tie with the Carolina Hurricanes on October 7, 2000), and Bryan Muir (0-3-3, even, in 30:59 in a 6-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on March 8, 2006).
  • Muir’s three-point game included assists on both of the Caps’ power play goals in their 6-3 win over Pittsburgh. But the game might be remembered more for one of the two shorthanded goals that the Caps scored – Ivan Majesky’s only goal as a Capital.
  • Those 17 players account for 103 games with at least one player logging 30 or more minutes played. All of them are defensemen.
  • Unsurprisingly, the 103 games in which a player logged 30 or more minutes feature a considerable number of extra time games. The Caps went past the 60-minute mark 43 times in those 103 games, posting 20 wins and 23 losses.
  • The Caps were not very successful in these games, posting a 34-27-23 record that also had 19 ties.
  • Only once in the 103 games involving a Capital logging at least 30 minutes did two players skate more than 30 minutes. It was one of the stranger games in Caps history in that the Caps almost had four defensemen log 30 minutes. In addition to Sergei Gonchar logging 33:36 in ice time and Joe Reekie skating 32:15, Calle Johansson skated 28:42, and Brendan Witt skated 28:09 in a 5-4 overtime loss to the Boston Bruins on November 21, 1998. Why did four of the six defensemen skate so many minutes? Because two of the six skated less than three minutes. Dmitri Mironov skated 2:58, and Mark Tinordi logged 1:26 before both were excused from the contest with game misconduct penalties 11:42 into the first period as part of an all-hands brawl with the Bruins that featured the rare goalie-on-goalie scrap between Olaf Kolzig and Byron Dafoe.

If you are going to skate a lot of minutes, interesting things are bound to happen.