Things You Didn't KnowPosted on January 14, 2013 by Mike Vogel
By now you’ve heard that Jose Theodore is the Caps’ starting goaltender for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal Series between Washington and Montreal. And that Nicklas Backstrom was not on the ice for Tuesday’s Caps practice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. Caps coach Bruce Boudreau says Backstrom is “questionable” for Thursday’s series opener at Verizon Center. Here is some other stuff. Stuff that maybe you didn’t know. • Of the 48 “top six” defensemen on the eight Eastern Conference playoff entrants, six have fewer than 100 games worth of NHL experience. Boston ((Johnny Boychuk and Adam McQuaid) and Ottawa (Matt Carkner and Eric Karlsson) each have a pair of those green blueliners. The Caps have John Carlson, and the Sabres have Tyler Myers. • Montreal’s top six totals 4,269 career games worth of NHL experience. That is nearly 50% more than the second most experienced blueline corps in the Eastern Conference (Philadelphia, 2,948). • The No. 7 (Philly) and No. 8 seeds in the Eastern Conference have the two most experienced bluelines in the conference. • Montreal’s Roman Hamrlik (1,232 games) is the most experienced defenseman among the eight Eastern Conference playoff qualifiers. • Boston (2,011 games) and Washington (2,277 games) have the two least experienced blueline corps among the East’s elite eight. • Since 1991, only one team has won a Stanley Cup with fewer than 3,000 games worth of combined experience among its top six blueliners. The 1993 Montreal Canadiens had a combined total of just 1,517 games of rearguard experience, the fewest of any Cup winner in the last three decades. They also had Patrick Roy. • There were 97 NHL defensemen with 20 or more points this season. The Caps had three: Mike Green, Tom Poti and Jeff Schultz. • Montreal boasts four rearguards with 20 or more points in 2009-10: Andrei Markov, Marc-Andre Bergeron, Roman Hamrlik and Jaroslav Spacek. • Pittsburgh and Buffalo each have five 20-point rearguards. • Philadelphia goaltender Brian Boucher has 22 career games worth of NHL playoff experience. Eighteen of those games and all 11 of his career Stanley Cup playoff wins came a decade ago, in 2000. • Among the eight likely starting goaltenders in the Eastern Conference, only two New Jersey’s Martin Brodeur and Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury) have previously won the Cup. • Brodeur (176 games) has more career Stanley Cup playoff experience than the other seven Eastern Conference starting goaltenders combined (157 games). • Fleury and Washington’s Jose Theodore are tied for second with 49 career playoff games. • Ottawa’s Brian Elliott and Boston’s Tuukka Rask will be playing Stanley Cup playoff hockey for the first time. • Brodeur is 98-78 with 23 shutouts, a 1.98 GAA and a .920 save pct. lifetime in 15 springs worth of Stanley Cup competition. • Brodeur has one goal and eight assists (nine points) in Stanley Cup competition. • Since winning the last of his three Stanley Cups, Brodeur is 15-22 with three shutouts, a 2.51 GAA and a .915 save pct. in five playoff years. • Starting goaltenders for the bottom four seeds in the Eastern Conference have combined for two Stanley Cup playoff game starts and zero wins in the last decade. • Jose Theodore has backstopped his team to the second round in every even-numbered year since 2002. • During those four first-round wins (2002, 2004, 2006 and 2008), Theodore went 16-8 with a 2.26 GAA and a .928 save pct. • During the four second-round losses in the same years, Theodore went 2-16 with a 3.89 GAA and an .886 save pct. • Theodore’s only career playoff shutout came in a deciding Game 7, on the road (Boston, 2004).
Caps goalie Jose Theodore got a “stinger” from a shot at practice today and left the ice early. Coach Bruce Boudreau said afterwards that he believes Theodore will be fine and ready to start Thursday’s Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series between Washington and Montreal. Center