Washington Capitals’ Faceoffs Review – Update #3

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Greg Fiume/Getty Images

NoVa Caps presents part three of a season-long review of the Capitals’ faceoff successes (or lack thereof).  To recap, the initial goal of this assessment was to track the team’s loss of key face-off players over the summer, and follow the progress of the team as we proceed through the 2015-2016 season.  Part one of the analysis can be found here: Part two can be found here:

League Stats Summary
CaptureAfter 47 games, the Capitals currently reside in the middle of the pack (14th) with regards to team face-off stats, with an overall face-off winning percentage of 50.1 %.

The Caps are 18th overall in offensive zone face-off winning percentage (50.4%) and 11th overall in defensive zone face-off winning percentage (50.2%).  As a team, the Caps are 17th in home game face-off winning percentages and 14th overall on the road.

To recap, for a frame of reference, the Capitals ended the 2014-2015 regular season with a team faceoff win percentage of 51.2%, for 12th in the league.  The leagues’ leader last season was the Boston Bruins at 53.6%.  The leagues’ worst was the Buffalo Sabres at 44.9%.

Capitals Player Stats Summary

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Breakdown
It no surprise that Jay Beagle continues to lead the team in face-off success (58.4%), and is currently 2nd overall in the NHL behind Jordan Stahl of Carolina for best face-off winning percentage.  Marcus Johansson’s move to center has also increased his number of face-off attempts and is doing better than one might have expected. The addition of Mike Richards was also a boost to the teams overall face-off capabilities.

In September, Coach Trotz had asked T.J. Oshie to step-up at the face-off dot this season, and Oshie has responded nicely, with his success rate steadily climbing all season.  Coach Trotz continues to keep Andre Burakovsky away from the face-off dot whenever possible.

Trends
Trends since the last update:  Nicklas Backstrom has leveled off and has not climbed above the 50% winning percentage for the season, which is somewhat surprising. (Backstrom ended last season at 53.6%).  It should also be noted that Chandler Stephenson’s early season success is also bolstering the Capitals overall stats, even though he is no longer with the team.  The absence of Eric Fehr and Troy Brouwer is still evident (52.0% and 56.9% respectively for last season).

Summary
The Capitals as a team have leveled-off with regards to overall progress and improvement at the face-off dot.  The overall team splits are provided in the following graphic for all face-offs through the Caps first 47 games.

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By Jon Sorensen
Data provided by Faceoffs.net

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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