Brazil, Colombia, and Peru Reinforce Capabilities in Naval Exercise

first_imgBy Gonzalo Silva Infante/Diálogo September 26, 2018 In early September, the navies of Brazil Colombia, and Peru concluded BRACOLPER 2018, an annual, multinational naval exercise, after two months of training in the Amazon River. The exercise, in its 44th edition, began in Leticia municipality in the Colombian Amazon, continued in Iquitos, Peru; and ended in Manaus, Brazil. Hundreds of navy service members assigned to the Amazon, as well as marines and naval aviation aircraft of the three countries took part in the exercise. Brazil featured the Roraima and Raposo Tavares river patrol ships, as well as the Oswaldo Cruz hospital ship. Colombia set out with the ARC Arauca ship, while Peru deployed the BAP Castilla and BAP Clavero river gunboats. The objective of the exercise is to train personnel in combined riverine operations to fight narcotrafficking, which uses rivers and their tributaries to transport drugs. The exercise also seeks to increase forces’ capabilities to counter other illegal activities, such as illegal mining and trafficking of flora and fauna. “The BRACOLPER operation represents an effort from the Brazilian, Colombian, and Peruvian navies to maintain naval collaboration in the Amazon,” Peruvian Navy Vice Admiral Silvio Alva Villamón, commander of Amazon Operations, told Diálogo. “It evolved progressively, from basic combined riverine operation activities to procedures and doctrine developed to facilitate more complex exercises, adapting to the threats of illegal activities and expanding spaces and mechanisms for information exchange.” Interoperability BRACOLPER 2018 participants conducted landing, sailing, transit, river control, shooting, and communications exercises. In addition, units participated in rapid-response operations and tactical maneuvers, simulating scenarios featuring the most common crimes troops face. “The main scenario comprises the combined work of the three navies during river control in the Amazon basin to counter criminal action, as well as the combined marine landing and the naval fire support exercise,” Peruvian Navy Commander Roy Pino Huamán, commander of the Amazon Riverine Units Fleet, told Diálogo. “The main challenges were the river control maneuvers and rapid response exercises due to the river’s conditions—current strength, shallow waters, and weeds.” During the exercise, naval aviation teams simulated an air assault with helicopters and a counterattack response by riverine units. The exercise also evaluated crews’ capabilities in immediate response procedures. “The threats that armed forces face in the Amazon involve criminals of different kinds who travel through vast areas,” Vice Adm. Alva said. “[These threats demand] of the armed forces a high degree of collaboration, coordination, and intelligence exchange, and sometimes require direct support from neighboring countries’ armed forces to close off spaces, continue with chases, make interventions, or facilitate means for medical evacuations, among others.” The exercise is an opportunity to conduct combined training to confront common situations, and exchange knowledge and experiences that strengthen interoperability. The collaboration also reinforces ties of friendship among neighboring countries. “Participants in this process know how to keep up with the pace of integration,” Vice Adm. Alva said. “The integration and communication bridges developed at every level of command, and personnel are essential for the trust achieved and contribute every year to the great expectations of this exercise.” Uninterrupted BRACOLPER 2018 took place in three phases, including coordination meetings to hone the final details before carrying out the exercises, and debriefings. Critical evaluations not only highlighted the participants’ achievements, but also contributed beneficial ideas for the three countries—such was the case in the second phase, which focused on rapid-response exercises with marine participation. “When this phase was over, service members held a debriefing to evaluate the river control methods each navy carried out, and each navy gave a presentation about the capabilities of its marine corps,” Cmdr. Pino said. “It was recommended that we study the possibility of conducting professional exchange visits to marine detachments of participating nations.” The annual exercise is held without interruption since 1974, when the tri-border navies opted to combine their efforts to counter regional challenges. The exercise also serves as a cause for celebration, as its three phases coincide with the independence days of Colombia, July 20th; Peru, July 28th; and Brazil, September 7th. Upon completion of the exercise, the navies started to plan for BRACOLPER 2019, with teleconferences and in-person meetings. According to Vice Adm. Alva, the planning is assigned to the Brazilian Navy’s Ninth Naval District, the Colombian Navy’s Southern Naval Force, and the Peruvian Navy’s Amazon Operations Command. “We developed channels of ongoing communication at the command, operations, and intelligence levels,” Vice Adm. Alva said. “We are aware that border areas are porous, allowing for a flow of all kinds of crimes, and combined patrols, information exchanges, and mutual support [consolidate] each country’s operations.”last_img read more

Read More »

Diego Costa named in Spain squad despite Jose Mourinho concerns

first_imgChelsea manager Jose Mourinho has warned that his team’s top scorer runs the risk of breaking down if Diego Costa, who has been struggling with a hamstring problem for several weeks, is pushed too hard.Spain coach Vicente del Bosque on Friday included Chelsea’s Diego Costa in his squad for Euro 2016 qualifiers against Slovakia and Luxembourg despite Jose Mourinho’s concerns over the striker’s fitness. (Also Read: Ronaldo Returns to Portugal Squad | Fit-Again Robben Included by Netherlands)”He is playing all his games. If we thought he wasn’t in playing condition, we wouldn’t have called him,” Del Bosque told a news conference at which he unveiled his 23-man squad.Chelsea manager Mourinho has warned that his team’s top scorer runs the risk of breaking down if the Brazil-born striker, who has been struggling with a hamstring problem for several weeks, is pushed too hard. (Dirk Kuyt Calls Time on Dutch Career)The Portuguese coach has insisted that Costa can only play one game a week, but he reacted to news of Costa’s call-up by admitting that he was powerless to stop him playing for Spain.”I have no reaction. It’s not a surprise. It’s something I imagined would happen,” Mourinho told a press conference.”If he can play three matches in a week, I think it’s too much. But he is going to do that. “What happens during the 15 days he is away with Spain is something that is out of my hands.”Del Bosque also included two uncapped players in his 23-man squad — Bayern Munich left-back Juan Bernat and Valencia forward Rodrigo Moreno.”Bernat and Rodrigo and performing well. They are players who should be in the national team during many years,” he said.Del Bosque is seeking to rejuvenate the national team following World Cup disappointment.Spain won the 2010 World Cup and the European Championship in 2008 and 2012. But the same core of players was overrun by the Netherlands and Chile in stinging losses to open this year’s World Cup. Del Bosque also recalled Barcelona defender Gerard Pique, who was out injured for the friendly against France and the qualifier against Macedonia in September.Spain face Slovakia on Thursday and at Luxembourg three days later, with both games away.”There are no easy wins against anyone,” Del Bosque said. “Slovakia and Luxembourg are teams with great stability.”SquadGoalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), David de Gea (Manchester United/ENG), Kiko Casilla (Espanyol) Defenders: Raul Albiol (Napoli/ITA), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea/ENG), Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Juanfran Torres (Atletico Madrid), Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Juan Bernat (Bayern Munich/GER)Midfielders: Raul Garcia (Atletico Madrid), Koke (Atletico Madrid), Cesc Fabregas (Chelsea/ENG), Ander Iturraspe (Athletic Bilbao), Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), David Silva (Manchester City/ENG), Santi Cazorla (Arsenal/ENG)Forwards: Paco Alcacer (Valencia), Rodrigo Moreno (Valencia), Pedro Rodriguez (Barcelona), Diego Costa (Chelsea/ENG)last_img read more

Read More »

Kobe Bryant swept with nostalgia, shooting woes in Lakers’ 99-95 loss to Knicks

first_imgThe Lakers (1-5) hardly looked comfortable against New York (3-4). The Lakers shot 38.3 percent and went on a near seven-minute stretch in which they missed 17 consecutive field-goal attempts. That caused Metta World Peace to joke that Knicks owner James Dolan “has a remote control that moves the rim.”If only it were simple to explain Bryant’s shooting inaccuracy. After he made three of his first five attempts, Bryant went 3 of 14 the rest of the way. “Just trying to get him the ball in places he’s comfortable,” said Scott, who reiterated his preference that Bryant shoot more in the post than from 3-point range. “But then again, we can’t stand around and watch him, either.”Despite the Lakers’ varying success on Bryant and World Peace guarding Carmelo Anthony, he still had a team-leading 24 points on 8-of-20 shooting. Julius Randle had six points on 3-of-12 shooting and 11 rebounds. He blamed his performance on “bone-headed plays,” including a 25-foot 3-point attempt that fell short as the Lakers led, 90-89, with 2:25 remaining. “We just watched Kobe playing and cutting,” Randle said. “Instead of making it easier on him, we got too stagnant.” NEW YORK >> The standing ovation erupted as soon as Kobe Bryant heard his name during starting lineup introductions. The cheers burst loudly whenever Bryant touched the ball. As he stepped to the foul line, Bryant heard “MVP” chants. Bryant described the feeling “amazing” and “very fortunate” over the warm reception the 19,812 fans greeted him at the World’s Most Famous Arena. If only Bryant could say the same thing about the Lakers and his own play. The Lakers lost to the New York Knicks, 99-95, on Sunday at Madison Square Garden, immediately erasing the relief over their first win only two days prior. Bryant also scored 18 points on a 6-of-19 clip and a 2-of-10 mark from 3-point range, continuing a season-long trend in which he has shot below 50 percent.“I’m focusing on what I can do,” Bryant said. “What I can’t do, I can’t do. I’ll be very comfortable at that.” Perhaps the Lakers became occupied with what could have marked Bryant’s final game at the Garden. Bryant reported exchanging trash talk with director and long-renowned Knicks fan Spike Lee. Lakers luminary Magic Johnson also watched in the stands. But the Lakers might as well get used to it. Just as Bryant has said for the past 10 months, Scott reported that Bryant recently “hinted to me that this might be his last year.” So, nostalgia loomed. Bryant gushed about playing with “golden greats” during his first NBA All-Star game here in 1998. Knicks coach and former Lakers teammate Derek Fisher remembered jokingly “not getting to shoot the ball a lot” when Bryant scored a former MSG-record 61 points in 2009. Bryant then laughed at Fisher for getting ejected with 7:11 left in the third quarter after Bryant drew a foul on Knicks rookie center Kristaps Porzingis. Fisher had the last laugh after saying beforehand that Bryant “has enough memories” at MSG. “He’s seen everything, but when you miss as much basketball as he has due to the injuries, it takes time to get back to your peak levels,” Fisher said. “After a while, it’ll come around.”It did not come around for Bryant. Instead, only the warm sentiments did. Bryant thanked Knicks guard Sasha Vujacic for helping the Lakers win two NBA championships in 2009 and 2010. Knicks president and former Lakers coach Phil Jackson visited Bryant in the locker room. In what he called a “brotherly relationship,” Bryant hugged Anthony at center court. “I told him, if this is his last go-around, I’ll miss him,” Anthony said.All of which led Bryant to outline what he hopes all those cheering fans remember about him even if he failed to do so Sunday.“Talented overachiever,” Bryant said. “I worked my butt off every single day to make sure I left no stone unturned and to make sure I push it as well as I possibly could.”center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Read More »

School evacuated due to hazmat situation

first_imgFire fighters in Miami-Dade are currently on the scene of what is being called a hazmat situation at BridgePrep Academy Village Green.The incident was reported around 11:00 am Tuesday at the school on Southwest 120th Street and 132nd Court.Not much is known about the situation at this time, however, authorities did report six students have been transported to a local hospital as a precaution and the rest of the campus has been evacuated.This is a developing story.last_img

Read More »

NEW SCREENWRITING COURSE AT RCC

first_imgBack by popular demand – New Screenwriting Course for BeginnersCalling all writers in Donegal and the North West. Have you a gem of an idea that you want to turn into a script?When: Starts March 31st every Saturday 1.15-4.15 for 6 weeks. Where:Regional Cultural Centre Letterkenny Cost:€90Teacher: Orla Walsh- award winning film maker and screenwriter. Call 074-9129186/085-1471631 to enrol. All levels welcome. NEW SCREENWRITING COURSE AT RCC was last modified: March 20th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:NEW SCREENWRITING COURSE AT RCClast_img read more

Read More »

Villa linked with Pogrebnyak

first_imgAston Villa boss Alex McLeish wants to snatch Pavel Pogrebnyak from Fulham, the Daily Mirror say.The Russian striker has been a massive hit at Craven Cottage since joining Fulham on a deal until the end of the season.But it is claimed that McLeish is planning a summer bid for him and has already spoken to representatives of the 28-year-old, who will be available on a free transfer in May.And West Ham have offered Salomon Kalou a move to Upton Park, according to the Daily Express.Kalou’s Chelsea contract expires in the summer and Hammers boss Sam Allardyce is believed to be keen to sign him.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Read More »

Weekly Wrap-up: Google’s Real-Time Feeds, Your Browser’s Fingerprint, Google TV, And More…

first_imgTags:#web#Weekly Wrap-ups Google made a lot of news this week at its I/O developer conference, but none of it was quite as important to our readers as the story about how the company will be pushing real-time feeds to browsers. We also continued our exploration of the significant Internet trends of 2010: We stuck our noses into smell sensors that are changing the Internet of Things; in mobile news Google announced the next version of Android; and speaking of Google, it bought itself a real-time video communications company. Read on for more.Story of the Week: Google Will Push Real-Time Feeds Google’s New Big Data APIs a Big Gift to Startups?Is Your Startup Too Geeky?Draw It Out, and Other Tips for Success from Twitter Co-founder Jack DorseyReadWriteCloud Our channel ReadWriteCloud, sponsored by VMware and Intel, is dedicated to Virtualization and Cloud Computing. 6 Smell Sensors That Are Changing the Internet of ThingsSensor & RFID Apps of the Future, Part 1More Internet of Things coverageReal-Time WebGoogle Will Push Real-Time Feeds to Browser (Updated)Google Buys Real-Time Video Communications CompanyMore Real-Time Web coverage. Don’t miss the next wave of opportunity on the Web supported by real-time technology! Get ReadWriteWeb’s report, The Real-Time Web and its Future.Check Out The ReadWriteWeb iPhone App We recently launched the official ReadWriteWeb iPhone app. As well as enabling you to read ReadWriteWeb while on the go or lying on the couch, we’ve made it easy to share ReadWriteWeb posts directly from your iPhone, on Twitter and Facebook. You can also follow the RWW team on Twitter, directly from the app. We invite you to download it now from iTunes. Google Will Push Real-Time Feeds to Browser (Updated)Gmail’s New API: Email as Enterprise PlatformEFF: Your Browser Has a FingerprintUnbelievable: WSJ Calls Facebook’s Referring URLs a Privacy Violation (UPDATED)Google’s New Big Data APIs a Big Gift to Startups?Google Introduces Google TVMore coverage and analysis from ReadWriteWebThe Real-Time Web Summit, New York CityYou’re invited to join ReadWriteWeb for our third event and our first on the East Coast: the ReadWriteWeb Real-Time Web Summit, on June 11 at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York City. This is our second Summit on the Real-Time Web, following on from our successful debut event in Mountain View last October. It will follow the same unconference format, which we have gotten a lot of great feedback on.The Real-Time Web is a set of technologies that impacts almost every service, activity and application on the Web. We were one of the first news outlets to analyze the Real-Time Web and we’ve since written extensively about it. Come to the summit to understand how it impacts you, your business and your next development.The ReadWriteWeb team is excited about our first New York event and we look forward to seeing you there! Click here to get a 30% discount on your registration.Mobile Web Geolorean: A Check-in App with Check.in IntegrationGoogle Announces the Next Version of Android7% of U.S. Consumers “Very Likely” to Buy an iPadMore Mobile Web coverageAugmented Reality for Marketers and Developers: Our Newest Research Report We’re pleased to announce ReadWriteWeb’s latest premium report, Augmented Reality for Marketers and Developers: Analysis of the Leaders, the Challenges and the Future. This report will help you develop a sophisticated understanding of Augmented Reality (AR), the mobile and Web technology that places data on top of a user’s view of the physical world. The research included will help you decrease your AR development time to market by learning from the first wave of early adopters. AR offers a new marketing and product paradigm for a high impact, high value customer experience. More than 1,000 AR campaigns were kicked-off last year and we expect to see many more in 2010. In this report, we profile key AR development companies, their campaigns as well as development lessons learned. For more information or to buy the report, visit here.Internet of Things ReadWrite Sponsors 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketcenter_img Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… ReadWriteStart Our channel ReadWriteStart, sponsored by Microsoft BizSpark, is dedicated to profiling startups and entrepreneurs. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Gist Gadget for Google Apps: A Look at the Social InboxMP3tunes Makes An Offer to Lala CustomersStorm of Innovation: Google Partners with VMware for Apps, Clouds, and WidgetsEnjoy your weekend everyone.Subscribe to Weekly Wrap-upYou can subscribe to the Weekly Wrap-up by RSS or by email below.RWW Weekly Wrap-up Email Subscription form: A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…last_img read more

Read More »

‘Historic’ Left-Congress tea party in Kolkata

first_imgFor the first time ever, leaders of the entire Left Front, led by its chairperson Biman Bose, accepted the Congress’s invitation to visit an exhibition in the latter’s headquarters. They sipped tea, had snacks, addressed a joint press conference and said that the “journey has begun”.The president of Congress in West Bengal Somendra Nath Mitra had invited the Left Front to visit an exhibition on the life of Mahatma Gandhi at the party headquarters. The Front leaders, representing all the constituents and led by Mr. Bose, obliged.“After visiting the exhibition, he [Mr. Mitra] requested us to have tea and we decided to share a cuppa or two,” said Mr. Bose. Following the exhibition visit and tea, the Communists and their erstwhile rivals held a joint press conference where the leaders were asked if Congress leader would now visit the “other house”, or the CPM headquarters, located a few furlongs north, on Alimuddin Street.“Future will tell us about future. I can talk about today’s event. We had tea and Bengalis do not keep silent while having tea… so we spoke,” said Mr Bose. Mr. Mitra’s comment was, however, more optimistic. “Tobey eta thik, jatra holo shuru (you can say the journey has begun),” said the Congress leader.While it is unclear if the Congress and Left will again come together, as they often change their respective alignment policies, both have recently decided to put up consensus candidates in the forthcoming Assembly by-poll in three constituencies.Naren Chatterjee, State secretary of All India Forward Bloc, said that “the situation demands unity and joint combat.” The unity had collapsed during the Lok Sabha polls. The leaders, however, unanimously said that “people’s interest has to be addressed.”last_img read more

Read More »

After winless season, McIlroy plots return to top of golf

first_imgNorthern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy on the 17th tee, during day three of Dunhill Links Championship at Kingsbarns, St. Andrews, England, Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017. Three courses stage the tournament, Kingsbarns, Carnoustie and the Old Course at St. Andrews. APST. ANDREWS, Scotland — After completing only the second winless season of his 10-year professional career, Rory McIlroy will put his clubs away for six weeks and plot a way to regain his aura of old.McIlroy finished a frustrating, injury-hit 2017 season with an even-par 72 at St. Andrews in his final round at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.ADVERTISEMENT Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics02:46Makabayan bloc: Duterte suspension order on rice importation only a ‘media stunt’01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Read Next Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PHcenter_img Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  LATEST STORIES Nadal wins 6th title of year in Beijing; Garcia beats Halep Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City MOST READ McIlroy said he will not start hitting balls again until the end of November, and will focus on rehab and “getting my body right.” A rib injury sustained at the SA Open in January forced him to have six weeks off, and the problem resurfaced at times.Putting and wedge play have been his biggest weaknesses this year, said McIlroy, who added that “basically all areas of my game could get a little bit better.”McIlroy turned pro in 2007 and failed to win a title the following year. Since 2009, he has won 21 titles worldwide.ADVERTISEMENT “It summed up my whole of 2017: Not much happening,” McIlroy said. “Couldn’t get out of neutral.”Former top-ranked McIlroy, who has had two spells out of action this year because of injury, has dropped to No. 6 in the world — behind players like 24-year-old Americans Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas and rising Spanish star Jon Rahm, who is age 22. The last of McIlroy’s four majors came at the PGA Championship in 2014.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“I feel I’m a much better player than I was in 2011 and 2012, when I was able to win a couple of majors,” the 28-year-old McIlroy said. “I feel I can do better than that in the next 10 years and that’s why these next three months are very important for me to put some really good things in place, step away and just reassess where I’m at and where I need to be.“The landscape of the game has changed a bit since I started to win majors. You have young, hungry guys now who are fearless and playing the game how I basically came out and played a few years go. It’s about gaining an advantage again here and there. Just reassessing everything and making sure I’m not leaving any stone unturned and do everything I can to get back to (being) the best player in the world.” View commentslast_img read more

Read More »

The Washington Capitals Are Lucky Because Theyre Good

The Washington Capitals are on fire right now. They’ve lost only three times since the calendar flipped to 2017 and have outscored their opponents 95 to 44 over that stretch. Aside from an 8-7 overtime loss to the rival Pittsburgh Penguins on Jan. 16, the Capitals have only surrendered more than three goals two times during their hot streak. In a league in which holding the opponent to three goals or fewer will earn you at least a shootout most nights, it’s easy to see why Washington is piling up points in the standings.Not only do the Caps own the league’s best record, but they also have the most dominant stats in hockey. They lead the league in Hockey-Reference.com’s Simple Rating System (SRS), which estimates the strength of every team in the NHL,1Technically speaking, SRS measures a team’s average goal differential after adjusting for strength of schedule. as well as team goals against average, the mark of a stingy defense. They also rank in the top five in several other major statistical categories, including goals scored per game; power play percentage; penalty kill percentage; and Corsi percentage, which estimates a team’s all-important possession rate by measuring the percentage of shot attempts it directed at the opponent’s net during games.2Adjusted for score, zone and venue.This is all to say that the Capitals look really, really ridiculously good on paper. But they’ve also ranked highly in a few key stats that are traditionally more in the realm of luck than skill. For example, they’re No. 1 in PDO, which is the sum of shooting percentage and save percentage (a notoriously unstable indicator in stathead circles), both of which the Capitals also either lead the league in or are tied for No. 1. Ordinarily, a high PDO could be seen as a red flag — suggesting that a team’s statistical résumé is like a house of cards, ready to collapse at any moment. But in Washington’s case, the team even seems to have come by the percentages that make up PDO (mostly) honestly. It’s the consequence of a roster design that could mean it’s finally Washington’s year to hoist Lord Stanley’s cup.The Capitals’ statistical excellence is nothing new — in each of the past three seasons, they’ve ranked among the NHL’s top eight in both points and SRS. Perhaps even more telling, they’ve been among the NHL’s top three in PDO for the past two seasons. Their good fortune in the percentages is commonplace by now.So how do we know Washington’s success isn’t purely based on good luck? For one thing, they’ve assembled a roster that perennially shoots the lights out. The Capitals have finished outside of the top 10 in shooting percentage only once since 2009-10. And since Barry Trotz took the helm as head coach in 2014-15, the team has ranked no worse than fourth. Only the Dallas Stars outperformed the Capitals in shooting percentage in both 2014-15 and 2015-16, but while the Stars have regressed — they sit in the middle of the pack (12th) in 2016-17 — the Capitals continue to put the puck in the net with a high degree of efficiency, thanks to that group of good shooters.A handful of said marksmen are having personal best shooting percentage seasons: T.J. Oshie, whose career shooting percentage of 13.1 percent is good for 24th among active players, is scoring on 23.7 percent of his shots in 2016-17. Frequent playoff hero3This is one of the reasons the Capitals signed him. Justin Williams has a career shooting percentage of 9.7 percent, but he’s scoring on 15.7 percent of his shots. Left winger Marcus Johansson has a career shooting percentage of 14.0 percent but is scoring on an astounding 22.9 percent of his shots. And he looks poised to shatter his career high mark for goals in a season. Some of that overachievement is bound to regress to the mean, but if the Caps’ history as a team is any indicator, Washington should be able to hold onto at least some of their improvements.That’s just one of PDO’s two (usually unstable) components. The other half of the Capitals’ brilliant, odds-beating equation is goaltender Braden Holtby. Holtby is among the best netminders in the world (his career save percentage is third-best among active goalies), and he’s only getting better. His goals against average and save percentage are both better than they were last season, and if it weren’t for Minnesota Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk’s ridiculously impressive performance in 2016-17, Holtby would be a lock for a second consecutive Vezina Trophy. Goaltending statistics can be notoriously fluky, but they tend to be more stable over a career, particularly when they’re as consistently great as Holtby’s have been.The main criticism of the Capitals — and especially their captain, Alex Ovechkin — has been that they’re playoff underachievers.4It’s hilarious to assign an “underachiever” tag to a guy who ranks sixth all-time — and first among active skaters — in goals scored per game. Alexander Ovechkin is a gift and a once-in-a-generation talent, and every hockey fan on Earth — Washington Capitals fan or not — should cherish his existence. They’ve qualified for the postseason in eight of the past nine seasons but haven’t managed to get past the conference semifinals despite having rosters stacked with such quality players as Ovechkin, Oshie, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Alexander Semin (when he was actually good), Nicklas Backstrom, Mike Green (when he was actually good), and Holtby.When juxtaposed against the Capitals’ inability to make a deep playoff run, Washington’s degree of statistical dominance suggests that, sure, perhaps the team has underachieved a bit. But there’s no doubt that Trotz and general manager Brian MacLellan have built a team poised to succeed in the modern era of the NHL. Not only do they have a group that controls the puck well, but they’ve also hacked through the noise of PDO to assemble a roster that isn’t just lucky when it beats the percentages. Who knows if the Capitals will win the Cup this year, but they’re a legitimately dominant team and, as things sit now, championship favorites. Maybe this is the year they finally shrug off the underachievers tag and deliver on that promise. read more

Read More »