Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Washington Capitals: Three Games In and Things to Impress Your Friends With

Here we are, half way to where we expect the Caps to win this series, and we have some odd facts to amuse and amaze you...

  • After three games, one Capital is a “plus” player.  Christian Djoos, who having played one game is plus-1.
  • Ah, but 15 of 20 skaters to dress so far are over 50 percent in shot attempts-for at 5-on-5, and the team is second in shot attempts-for at 5-on-5 with 55.13 percent (Winnipeg is first at 62.07 percent).
  • Coming into this series, the Caps had a 7.8 shooting percentage in the postseason since 2008.  That was 23rd of 30 teams over that span.  After last night’s win they are 7.5 percent in this series (10 goals on 133 shots).  They rank 14th of 16 teams in 5-on-5 shooting percentage (4.3).
  • Last night the Caps recorded 45 shots on goal, the second time in this series they had at least that many shots and the ninth time they did it since 2008.  Last night was just their second time in nine tries that they won when posting at least 45 shots on goal, the other time coming in 2011, when Jason Chimera scored on the Caps’ 53rd shot to beat the New York Rangers, 4-3, in double overtime in Game 4 of their first round series that the Caps would win in five games.
  • John Carlson is averaging 30:45 per game in ice time in this series.  Not only does that not lead the league (Seth Jones is averaging 32:42 for Columbus), he doesn’t lead his own team.  Dmitry Orlov is averaging 31:04 and ranks second in the league in average ice time.
  • Different management approaches.  Capitals rank second through fifth in average ice time (Matt Niskanen is fourth at 30:42, and Alex Ovechkin ranks fifth at 28:22).  Meanwhile, Blue Jackets rank first through sixth in shifts taken per game played (Seth Jones, Cam Atkinson, David Savard, Ryan Murray, Ian Cole, and Zach Werenski).  Five Capitals rank in the top 15 in time on ice per shift (no other team has more than two).  The highest ranking Blue Jacket in time on ice per shift is Pierre-Luc Dubois, tied for 47th at 49 seconds per shift.
  • No team has had more power play chances so far than the Caps (17, tied with San Jose), and that includes teams that have played four games.  No team has more power play goals than the Caps, either (six, also tied with San Jose).
  • The Caps’ goal scoring follows an odd, and a bit disturbing trend.  Four goals scored in the first periods of the three games, three in the second period, two in the third, and one in overtime.  Ten of the 11 goals they have allowed have come after the first period.
  • Through three games, the Caps have spent 3:58 killing penalties in overtime, 0:01 on their own power play.  Stop that!
  • Last night was the 70th one-goal game played by the Caps in the postseason since 2008.  No team has played more.  In fact, consider that the two teams ranked second and third – Pittsburgh (68) and Chicago (66) – have won multiple Stanley Cups in that span, while the Caps have not lasted past the second round, and you get a feel for just how embedded the one-goal decision is in recent Caps playoff history.  That they are 32-38 in those games (19 of the losses in overtime) is just depressing.

Photo: Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images