Caps Spotlight: Hendrix Said He Nearly Trotz

It’s strange that Barry Trotz has avoided being called East Coast Bruce Boudreau. They both don’t have a neck, so it works, doesn’t it? Maybe it’s just because Trotz has only been on the East Coast for three years. Still, his record is what it is and looks a lot like Boudreau’s, except Gabby has actually made the conference final once.

This was a Fifth Feather thing many years ago, but when Joel Quenneville was hired and then eventually a Cup champion, he was the first coach to coach more than 10 years without reaching a Stanley Cup Final to then actually do so. And he remains that. Trotz is getting close to the ten year mark, and he’s never been to a conference final.

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How Good We’ve Got It

Most hockey fans roll their eyes whenever they see the Penguins vs. Capitals on their screen. Actually, they do that when the Blackhawks are on the national broadcast as well. Both are understandable, but we’ll focus on the former for now. Pens vs. Caps was shoved down our throats before we even knew what hit us, thanks to the NHL’s desperation to turn Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin into Bird vs. Magic before either had even made the playoffs. The NHL couldn’t, or wouldn’t, wait for it to happen organically, and for the most part I think hockey fans rejected it. Wrestling fans will tell you about a similar scenario with Roman Reigns, but that’s another discussion for another time with much weirder people.

And I think I, and a lot of other fans, have viewed the games between the teams the same way. But I have brought myself out of it, in time to really enjoy last year’s series between the two, and I hope more fans are as well. Because we have two very special players, ones that don’t seem to be appreciated enough, and both are doing things we might not see again and haven’t seen for a very long time.

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One Goal Is Apparently The Mantra On The Ice As Well

Last night, the Hawks ratcheted up yet another one-goal victory, their league-leading 17th. That is by some distance, as the next best team has 13 one-goal wins. That doesn’t mean the Hawks have the best win % in one-goal games, which belongs to the Flames (Hawks are 6th in that category). No one is playing more and winning more one-goal games.

But of course that started what few functioning neurons I had left to stir. Are one-goal wins really a matter of skill or know-how, or are they luck? Obviously, the answer is probably a blending of the two but I still wanted to know. In baseball, the only other sport where the scoring is somewhat similar to hockey–but only somewhat–it’s been a given that one-run wins are mostly luck. Or at least they don’t speak to what kind of team you have. After all, your 103-win and World Series Champion Cubs were merely 22-23 in one-run games, and no one is going to say they weren’t the best team in baseball.

Does it work the same in hockey? In order to find out we’re going to have to get in up the elbow in numbers, so put on your rubber gloves. And for just another bullet point in how dumb the NHL site is, they include OT and SO wins in their one-goal wins category but not in the one-goal loss category. The conspiracy to inflate the standings goes deeper than you think, sheeple!!!

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All That’s Left – Hawks 3, Wings 3 (Hawks Win Mayoral Runoff)

Box Score
Natural Stat Trick

Perhaps the most damning evidence of what this “rivalry” has become is that none of the four of us watched anywhere close to the entirety of this game, while the Wings Blogosphere is filling their diapers about the refereeing in the game as if this season isn’t completely lost for them anyway. Let’s piece all this together.

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This Used To Be My Playground: Wings at Hawks Preview/Roof Tiling

RECORDS: Wings 17-18-5  Hawks 26-12-5

PUCK DROP: 7:30pm

TV: WGN

THAT NERD LOOKS LIKE JAM: Winging It In Motown

PROJECTED LINEUPS

ADJUSTED TEAM CORSI%: Wings – 47.9 (23rd)  Hawks – 49.9 (16th)

ADJUSTED TEAM xGF%: Wings – 47.9 (22nd)  Hawks – 47.8 (23rd)

POWER PLAY %: Wings – 11.2 (Dead Ass Last)  Hawks – 18.5 (15th)

PENALTY KILL %: 83.2 (9th)  Hawks – 76.1 (28th)

TRENDS: The Wings are o-for their last-54 on the power play. They’re even putting Steve Ott on it. I can’t begin to express the joy this makes me feel.

This has been something of a sweetheart homestand for the Hawks. The Sabres are awful, the Preds are hurt and struggling, the Canes were the biggest challenge and overcome, and now it ends with the complete hobo village that is the Detroit Red Wings these days. Guys… seriously, you haven’t seen a Wings team this bad since names like Barr, Burr, Cheveldae, Gallant, and Racine were involved. And chances are, you don’t recognize any of those names, which is just how long it’s been.

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Wings Q&A With Wayward Rodeo Clown Kyle

Strange, the Wings blogosphere is actually one of our favorites, made up of people we somehow get along with. I can’t explain it either. Anyway, we were able to distract Kyle from WingingItInMotown.com from staring at something shiny long enough to answer our questions (on Twitter @KyleWIIM).

We’ll start here. Tatar – 8 goals, Nyquist – 4 goals, Abdelkader – 4 goals (though only 22 games), Larkin hasn’t really scored more than he did last year… are the Wings unlucky and bad? Or just bad?

They’re not a very good team, that is for sure.. Take your pick at what the cause is… Coaching, complacency, bad luck, whatever. I mean, what it boils down to is that the team is underachieving. I’m not convinced that the skill level (or lack thereof) they possess is the culprit of their record.

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