June 23 2016 09:00AM
The Washington Capitals enjoyed arguably their best regular season in franchise history last year. Key word, though, regular. The Caps were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs by the Pittsburgh Penguins, well shy of their ultimate goal of winning their first-ever Stanley Cup, making it difficult to call 2015-16 a success.
The easy thing to do here is to point fingers, yell and scream, and say that the team totally messed up, or that they couldn't get the job done. But sometimes, you’re a damn good team that plays well, and you just don’t come out on top because the other team is also damn good, they also played damn well, and, you know, things happen.
Thankfully for the Caps, their window didn’t slam shut after they were dropped by the Penguins. They're going to get another go at the prize with this group again next year, but after that? That’s anybody’s guess.
June 22 2016 11:00AM
The Vancouver Canucks season has long since passed, but the data that helps us connect the dots that drew their third-last finish are just starting to come together. I'm talking about microdata that points to the 'hows' and 'whys'. In this case, neutral zone statistics.
If you've been paying close attention, you'll have noticed that I've been providing periodic updates on how the Canucks have fared through the neutral zone this season. Specifically, how well they've performed at attacking the opposition's blue line. I collected this data by accounting for every zone entry, noting which player is responsible, how they entered the zone and how often they failed.
It's taken me quite some time, but I've finally collected that data for all 82 of the Canucks games this season -- and another 150 or so for other teams. I'll share the results and make sense of my findings, on the other side of the jump.
June 22 2016 10:01AM
After making the post-season for the first time in franchise history since the move to Manitoba, the Winnipeg Jets were unable to build upon the previous season's success and collapsed down the standings.
The Jets have a lot of interesting pieces though and could be on a steep upswing next year. Do not be surprised if the Jets find themselves back in the post season next year.
Let's look at why.
June 21 2016 10:38AM
The Chicago Blackhawks have long been Stanley Cup contenders, with last season being no exception. However, reckless management of the cap has finally caught up with the team, so much so that the team is staring at a roster more shallow than it has been in years, with little wiggle room to maneuver themselves under the cap. Such forces leave the Hawks not only in danger of losing their status as Cup contenders, but of missing the playoffs altogether.
June 21 2016 09:01AM
With the 2016 NHL draft just a few days away(!), it's time we turn our attention to one of the more cruel annual traditions of the first round and beyond: draft day slides.
We see it every year: Cam Fowler, Brandon Gormley, Emerson Etem, Hunter Shinkaruk, Travis Konecny. The list goes on.
Let's take a look at some of the top-ranked players from this year's draft, and see which ones are candidates to continue the tradition.