Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Caps Specialize At Being Uneven











After crushing the Islanders 6-2 the other night, the Capitals are now the NHL leader in two important categories, Power Play Percentage and Penalty Killing Percentage.  The league average for scoring when you are in the power play advantage is 18%, which Washington is leading at 28%. Looking the other way, DC leads the NHL in preventing opponents from scoring on the advantage at 8%, with the same 18% league average.  

Controlling these key moments in the game correlates into victories, as the top ten power play % teams and 8 of the top 10 penalty killing teams currently have winning records. Only once in the past 8 seasons has a team even finished in the top three in both categories at the end of the year, and that team had the best record in the league and made the Cup Finals.

Then why are the Caps only 8-7? Well, when playing at even numbers, they are below average.  Washington has outscored opponents for the season 50-42, but when at even strength they are being outscored 37-33. They are the only team in the NHL with that oddity.

DC may be relying too much on the power play since 35% of their goals are from being up a man, third highest rank in the NHL, when the average is 23%. Keep in mind that teams only average 4 power plays or 8 penalty minutes per a 60 minute game. This means that the Caps are only in each of these situations 12% of the time on the ice, while stinking up the other 76%. How about some more 5 on 5 drills at practice, coach?

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