Sunday, March 13, 2011

Today's Numbers: 0.639 and 1.29; A Half Hour Till The Puck Drops In DC

Good Morning! And a lovely morning it is today here on the East Coast of the United States. That said, I'd be remiss if I failed to mention how solemn the images I cannot help but watch and that we all are likely seeing coming out of Japan, as well as the news that as of this minute six nuclear reactors are in a state of emergency in that country. The amount of tragedy in the world of late is truly, truly saddening and are the focus of my larger thoughts and prayers this morning. Of course, now ironically, I will turn my thoughts to the lighter side of life and that which often serves as a diversion from the worries of "normal life" - NHL Hockey in general and Washington Capitals NHL Hockey in particular.

So class, today's numbers are 0.639 and 1.29; when you looked at them did they ring a bell to you? Well they may or may not have but it doesn't matter because I, of course, will now tell you what the are. 0.639 is the number of goals per game, one Alexander Ovechkin has scored so far during his 465 game, 5 3/4+ regular season NHL career; while 1.29 is the number of points per game Ovechkin has amassed over that same period. I generally believe that over time most things like that seek to return to their statistical norm and recent game performances would also seem to indicate that "The Great 8" is also a believer and a "makerer" of that happening. As of this season, Ovechkin has played in 69 games, during which he's averaged 0.406 goals and 1.06 points per game, solid statistics and accomplishments, but somewhat below his overall career numbers. However over the past ten (10) games, the Captain of the Washington Capitals has scored 5 goals, 8 assists, and a shootout goal that won a game for the Capitals. Numbers that are starting to drive this seasons G/G and P/G numbers back up towards the prolific left wing's career statistical norms, even though everyone looking at his play this season is also seeing a more mature, defensively responsible team leader who is clearly more focused on his team's performance and achievements than his personal statistics.

Everyone who reads this blog likely already knows that over the last 10 games the Capitals have amassed a record of 9-1-0 and are basically "the hottest team" in the NHL coming in to today's game against last season's Stanley Cup Champions - the Chicago Blackhawks. The Blackhawks are 8-1-1 and the second hottest team in the NHL in their last ten (10) games. The Blackhawks are one of eight (8) teams separated by a spread of five (5) points fighting for one of five (5) playoff spots, for them this game is probably even more important than it is for the Capitals. Speaking of importance, how important is this game for the Capitals. Well it's their last home game before a six game road swing; a six game swing where they will be facing teams who are either in the thick of the battle for the post season, or in the case of Ottawa a team that seems to be relishing it's current role of spoiler. So this is an important game to get that stretch off to a good start. Well it's time for the puck drop, so...


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