Welcome to Caps 'Round the Clock, a blog covering the Washington Capitals and the NHL. In season, I update the Blog after every practice and on game day with Caps news and information, and then provide a recap and analysis after each contest. I also write a periodical Prospect Watch and weekly feature pieces on the state of the Men in Red and other things Capitals. And of course, I will post videos and tidbits from around the League and offer my two cents as the season wears on. In the offseason, I write a Report Card for each player, and will keep you updated on all the news about the Caps through the summer. I'm glad you're here, and hope you come back!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Report Card: Jeff Schultz

Hey now, Double Nickel!
Today I bring you the seventeenth installment in my "Report Card" series, as I continue my evaluation of each Capital throughout this past regular season and playoffs.  Today's player is stay at home defenseman Jeff Schultz, who finished his sixth season in the organization this year.

Stats/Season Summary: Schultz had a typically slow offensive year, tallying one goal and nine assists in 72 games to go along with a +6 rating and 12 penalty minutes.  He also finished second on the team in blocked shots, impressive when you consider he missed 10 games with a broken finger.  Sarge saw time on all three defensive pairings this year, and played with pretty much every other defenseman on the roster for at least two games.  He saw big minutes on the penalty kill and proved useful in many other facets of the game, though he did have the occasional disaster that led to the ire of Caps fans.  The problem with Schultz this year was that his +/- rating dropped over 45 points. Grade: C+
Role Play: For the most part, Schultz did exactly what he was supposed to.  He blocked alot of shots and he used his shot blocking ability well with his large frame.  Schultz's job isn't to score goals, it's to prevent them, and he did a (mostly) good job.  He may not be a gem in open ice, but he usually doesn't need to be. He was a big part of the Caps resurgence on the penalty kill, too.  "Double Nickel" (thanks Locker) did, however, suffer from pylon syndrome a few times, often at inopportune moments. Grade: C+
Playoffs: To no one's surprise, Schultz was held pointless in the nine playoff games he partook in this year, though he did have a +1 rating and six penalty minutes.  He was very good in the Rangers series, especially in the penalty kill, but struggled bigtime against the Lightning's bigger, more physical forwards, especially because he was asked to shoulder a bigger offensive load.  Especially in the fourth game, he was simply brutal, but by that point the series was over. Indifference. Grade: C-
Future Potential: Schultz is under contract for three more seasons at $2.75 million per; he isn't going anywhere.  The Caps need defensive defensemen like him, and he has earned his niche within the organization.  He's not flashy but he gets the job done for the most part, even if he is way overpaid.  There are worse things than having a shot-blocker in back. Grade: C

The next report card will be posted on May 27 and will feature defenseman Karl Alzner.

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