There’s no reason to think the new/old color scheme will help the Caps in the team’s standings. (By the way, for all the team’s talk about going back to the way things were, don’t the jerseys look more like the one Alex Ovechkin used to sport in Russia than what Bugsy Watson wore in Largo?
But I was wondering what, if any, impact the move to a longer-sleeve, form-fitting shirt would have on what has always been my favorite part of the world’s fastest team sport: fighting. After all, while the Caps won/loss/OT loss record blew, according to stats compiled by the brilliant folks at hockeyfights.com, our boys came in fifth place in the NHL’s final fighting majors team standings, with 40. (Donald Brashear, who dropped the gloves 14 times, took seventh place in the individual standings.)
Good news, Slap Shot fans: “I’ve kind of studied hockey fighting,” says Omar Olumee, a local ultimate fighting promoter and karate studio owner who brought D.C. its first mixed martial arts card last month. “And when they fight, they try to grab the other guy’s uniform, to pull it over his head and control the other fighter. It’s like in Brazilian jujitsu, where they wear thick, loose uniforms, like [old Caps jerseys], you’ll often see guys use the opponent’s uniform against him. So, going to a tighter jersey, even with longer sleeves, that should help the fighters. These should be harder to grab, so, if I was fighting, I’d rather be wearing the [Caps’ new jersey].”
By the way, the Anaheim Ducks, with 71 fights during the 2006-2007 regular season, dominated the league in that category on the way to the Stanley Cup.