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!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Report Card: Jeff Halpern

As the 2011-12 season has come to a close, the time has come to evaluate what it meant for the Capitals, both as a team and as individuals.  As such, as the summer progresses, I will be writing a report card, or individual evaluation, for each player who played in 9 (~10%) of the team's games, or 4 playoff games. Next up is center Jeff Halpern, who played his first season in seven years but his fifth overall with the Capitals this campaign.

Season Summary: Halpern played in 69 games this year for the Capitals, tallying four goals, 12 assists, a -1 rating, and 24 penalty minutes.  His corsi rating was -0.65, the fifth best on the team among forwards at even strength, and he did it against the fourth toughest competition among Washington attackers.  Most importantly for Halpern, however, he won faceoffs at a 58.4% clip, which led the team by a significant margin and was 7th in the NHL among players that took 300 or more draws.  He played pretty much every night until the late stages of the year, at which he point was clearly frustrated with his performance and the way he was being deployed.  69 games isn't shabby, but for a guy like Halpern, he expected more, and he said so in his end of year media availability. Grade: B-
Role Play: Halpern was brought on to this team to do exactly what he did - provide a stable, reliable defensive player in the bottom six that can win faceoffs, kill penalties, and provide a little bit of offensive pop.  Halpern did all of those things very well, and, as far as we know, was steady in the locker room the way you would expect a former captain to be steady in the locker room.  When McPhee signed him, he knew exactly what he was getting, and Halpern was just that.  He had a right to be frustrated with his playing time down the stretch, without a doubt. Grade: B+
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