Washington Capitals Statistics Analysis – Jan 3-9, 2016

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This is an analysis of the Washington Capitals’ performance from an advanced statistics standpoint for the week of Jan 3-9, 2016.  Statistics were taken from the War on Ice Website for each game.

Capitals vs Boston Bruins (January 5)

The Capitals won this game 3-2, scoring their first goal late in the first period, their second goal about midway through the second period to get off to a 2 goal lead, and got their third goal about midway through the third period.  In this game, the members of the second line had the best Corsi For and Fenwick For percentages, with Evgeny Kuznetsov exceeding 70% in both, Justin Williams with 67% Corsi For and 71% Fenwick For, and Andre Burakovsky in the 60-70 percent range in both.  That reflected the fact that the members of the second line had scored two goals this game.  Burakovsky had an even strength goal, with an assist by Kuznetsov.  Kuznetsov had a power play goal, which is not reflected in this analysis, as this analysis is about even strength statistics.  Marcus Johansson, who is normally on the second line, scored the remaining goal but, for this particular game, he was the third line center.  Johansson exceeded 60% in Corsi For but was at only 47% in Fenwick For.  His line mates, Jason Chimera and Tom Wilson, both were in the 50-60% range in both Corsi For and Fenwick For.

The members of the first line, Alex Ovechkin, NIcklas Backstrom, and T.J. Oshie were all under 50% in both Corsi For and Fenwick For, with Oveckhin the only one whose Corsi For exceeded 40%.  The other two were in the 30-40% range.  All three of them were between 40-50% in Fenwick For percentage. For the fourth line, Galiev was in the 40% range for both Corsi For and Fenwick For, Sill had 50% Corsi For and 57% Fenwick For, and Laich had 54% Corsi For and 67% Fenwick For.

On defense, Karl Alzner and Matt Niskanen, the first pairing who have played uber minutes on defense in the absence of John Carlson and Brooks Orpik had Corsi For percentages a shade under 30% and Fenwick For percentages a shade over 30%.  They both also had 3 times as many defensive starts as offensive starts.  For the second pairing, Dmitry Orlov and Nate Schmidt, Orlov had a Corsi For percentage of 65% and a Fenwick For percentage of 78% while Schmidt was in the 70-77% range in both.   Both had twice as many offensive zone starts as defensive zone starts. The third defensive pairing of Taylor Chorney and Aaron Ness were in the 60-70% range for both Fenwick For and Corsi For.

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Capitals vs New York Islanders (January 7)

The Caps won this game 4-1.  They scored two goals during first period that were exactly 10 minutes apart. They also scored one goal early in the second period and an empty net goal near the end of the last period.  The player starting the scoring, Jason Chimera, had Corsi For and Fenwick For percentages between 60-65%, indicating strong possession.  His line mate, Tom Wilson, also had strong possession statistics, with his Corsi For percentage at 58% and his Fenwick For percentage at 60%.  They both had better possession statistics than their line mate, Marcus Johansson which were between 45-50%.  The rest of the forwards had Corsi For percentages under 50%, except for Brooks Laich who had a percentage of exactly 50% and Michael Latta who had a percentage of 58%.  In Fenwick For, the other forwards at or exceeding 50% were Nicklas Backstrom with a percentage of 50, Evgeny Kuznetsov with a percentage of 63%, and T.J. Oshie and Alex Ovechkin exceeding 50% by a hair.

On defense, the first defensive pairing of Karl Alzner and Matt Niskanen, had significantly more defensive starts than offensive starts.  Alzner’s Corsi For percentage was just under 50% but his Fenwick just over.  Niskanen had Corsi For and Fenwick For clustering around 45%.  Taylor Chorney and Aaron Ness had Corsi For exceeding 60% and Fenwick For in the mid 50% range.  Orlov had a 40% Corsi For percentage and a 50% Fenwick For percentage.  Schmidt was between 40-50% in both Corsi For and Fenwick For.

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Capitals vs New York Rangers (January 9)

The Caps won this game 4-3 in Overtime.  They got their initial goal on a power play very late during the first period and their second goal early during second period.  But, during the third period, they not only squandered their lead but fell behind.  They tied it with barely 10 seconds left in regulation and won in Overtime.

The first line of Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, and T.J. Oshie, who provided most of the game’s heroics (Ovi’s initial goal, Backstrom’s last minute game tying goal, and Ovechkin’s game winner) had both Corsi For and Fenwick For percentages exceeding 60%, with Backstrom exceeding 70% by a hair for Corsi For.  The only other forward with a Corsi For at 50% or better was Justin Williams who was at exactly 50%.   The only other forwards with Fenwick For percentages at or over 50% were Jason Chimera and Michael Latta who were at exactly 50%.

For the defense, both members of the first pairing, Karl Alzner and Matt Niskanen had Corsi For and Fenwick For percentages clustering around 50%.  The second pairing, Dmitry Orlov and Nate Schmidt had Corsi For and Fenwick For percentages clustering around 60%.  The third pairing of Taylor Chorney and Aaron Ness had their Corsi For and Fenwick For percentages under 30%, with Chorney over 25% in each and Ness just over 20%.

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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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