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!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Report Card: Jeff Schultz

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 defenseman Jeff Schultz, who finished his seventh and most turbulent year with the organization this past season.

Season Summary: As noted above, Schultz endured the most tumultuous season of his NHL career during this campaign.  Sarge started out the season where he belonged, in the lineup, and performed well for the most part.  After Dale Hunter was hired as coach, Schultz played less and less in December before being benched in favor of John Erskine for the entire month of January despite being substantially better than him.  After February 1st, however, Schultz played almost every night until being sat down in late March; he played in 52 games total, his lowest by far in a full NHL season.  He posted a goal, five assists, and a -2 rating to go along with 12 penalty minutes; he also had a -4.94 corsi rating at even strength, the fourth-worst among the eight defensemen that played in more than 20 games.  He did all of this, however, while facing the fourth-hardest even strength competition among those eight defensemen. Grade: C
Role Play: Jeff Schultz came into this season as the sixth defenseman, and he played that role.  What you want from the sixth best defenseman on your roster is someone who doesn't mess up every time he is on the ice, is defensively responsible, and can block shots.  Contrary to popular belief, Schultz can do all of those things, as evidenced by his statistics and the fact that he blocked 58 shots. No one expects Schultz to be the best defenseman on the ice, but as a complementary player, he did well.  Good thing, too, because that's what Schultz is. Grade: B
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