Washington Capitals Advanced Statistics Analysis – Week of Dec 7-13, 2015

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This is an analysis of the Washington Capitals’ performance from an advanced statistics standpoint for the week of Dec 7-13, 2015.   Statistics were taken from the War on Ice Website for each game.

Capitals vs Detroit Red Wings (December 8)

In this particular game, a 3-2 Capitals win in a shootout, the first line of Ovechkin, Backstrom, and Oshie performed well, even though they had not scored.  All three members of that line exceeded 50% in Corsi For and Fenwick For, with Ovechkin and Backstrom both at around 60% in Corsi For and both at or over 60% in Fenwick For, while Oshie exceeded were both over 55% Corsi and Fenwick For Percentage, with Ovechkin and Backstrom exceeding 60% and Oshie coming in around 53% in Corsi For and 57% in Fenwick For.  Statistics indicate great possession but stopped by a hot goalie.  The second line of Evgeny Kuznetsov, Marcus Johansson, and Justin Williams had Corsi For percentages around 50%, ranging from Johansson with 45% to Kuznetsov at near 52%.  They had Fenwick For percentages over 60%.  The second line had contributed the only even strength goal in the Caps’ scoring.  For the third line, Jason Chimera was over 50% in both Corsi For and Fenwick For while Jay Beagle and Tom Wilson was in the 40% range for both.  The fourth line of Brooks Laich, Michael Latta, and Andre Burakovsky had very poor possession statistics, with Laich and Latta having Corsi For Percentages in the 20-30% range and Fenwick For Percentages between 10-15%.  During the course of this game, Coach Trotz had swapped Wilson and Burakovsky between the third and fourth lines.  It was a particularly bad game for the fourth line in possession and in actual scoring as well, as the fourth line was on the ice when Detroit scored both of their goals.  Admittedly, one of the goals was scored with Burakovsky on the ice and the other one scored with Wilson.

Defense wise, the first pairing of Schmidt and Carlson exceeded 50% in both Corsi For and Fenwick For.  For the second pairing, Niskanen exceeded 50% in both Corsi For and Fenwick For percentage while Alzner finished just under 50% in Corsi For but over 50% in Fenwick For.   The third pairing of Dmitry Orlov and Taylor Chorney were in the 30-40 in Corsi For Percentage while Chorney was in the 30-40% range and Orlov was at 41% for Fenwick For.  This was not a good game for either Chorney or Orlov who were both on the ice for both Detroit goals.

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Capitals vs Florida Panthers (December 10)

The Capitals lost this game 4-1, with the only Caps goal scored on a power play.  Generally in this game, the Caps did not look good for possession.  The only forwards exceeding 50% in Corsi For and Fenwick For Percentages were the members of the fourth line of Brooks Laich, Michael Latta, and Chris Brown who all exceeded 66%.  It still did not prevent Trotz from healthy scratching two of them, Latta and Brown, for the following game.  The rest of the forwards were in the 30-46%, with the exception of TJ Oshie whose Corsi For Percentage exceeded 50% and Tom Wilson who had Corsi and Fenwick For percentages of 0%.   It was not a good game for Wilson, as he had earned a major penalty and a game misconduct.

On defense, John Carlson and Nate Schmidt had Corsi For Percentages in the 58-62% range but their Fenwick For Percentages hovered between 46-48%.  Alzner and Niskanen had percentages between 30 and 45%, with Alzner posting higher numbers than his partner.   Chorney had percentages in the 40-45% for both Corsi For and Fenwick For while Orlov had 42% Corsi For and 35% Fenwick For.  All in all, it was a forgettable game for the team.

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Capitals vs Tampa Bay Lightning (December 12)

The Capitals won this game 2-1.  From an advanced statistics view, this game was not a good one for the Caps, given that almost all the players have Corsi For and Fenwick For percentages below 50%, reflecting the fact that the opponent had better possession.  While some of it reflected “score effects” since the Caps had led most of the game, it also depicted the fact that the opponent had more scoring chances. Braden Holtby had come up big in goal for this game.   The only forward to exceed 50% Corsi For Percentage was Brooks Laich who was at 62%.  The only defenseman to even achieve 50% Corsi For Percentage was Taylor Chorney.   Laich had 58% Fenwick For Percentage and TJ Oshie had 50% Fenwick For, being the only forwards to achieve or exceed 50% in Fenwick For Percentage.  The only defenseman to reach 50% Fenwick For was Chorney.  As a rule, most of the players were in the 30-45% Fenwick For and Corsi For Percentages, with the exception of Karl Alzner and Matt Niskanen who were in the 20-30% range for both Fenwick For and Corsi For.  While there were no even strength opposing goals, there was one power play goal.  This was a game stolen by the goalie – Braden Holtby.

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By Diane Doyle

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His passion for the Caps has grown over the decades, which has included time as a season ticket holder, social media and community organizer, and most recently led to the founding of NoVa Caps in 2014. Jon earned a Bachelor's of Science in Engineering at Old Dominion University, and is a Systems Engineer during intermissions, which has been instrumental in supporting his Capitals habit.
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