Are the Capitals Plummeting PDO Statistics Problematic? Or Just A Simple Correction?

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Since the Capitals bye week, the team’s PDO stat (shot percentage plus save percentage) has plummeted. Should this be a concern? 

Going into the bye week, the Capitals were ranked number one in the league in both shot percentage and save percentage in all 5-on-5 situations (PDO). Since the bye week, the PDO stats have droppped considerably.

At first glance, this might be a concern to some fans, but in reality, it’s likely a simple correction to the astronomical numbers the Caps were posting heading into the break. We wrote a “word of caution” before the break here.

The Capitals shooting percentage was exospheric prior to the team’s bye week. Since returning to action on February 18th, the Caps shooting percentage is 14th in the league, at 7.5%.

As NoVa Caps noted prior to the bye week break, the Caps shooting percentages were very likely to fall in the near future, and they have. It’s a simple correction at this point, and shouldn’t be a concern. In fact, as of today, the Capitals still remain number one in shooting percentage for the entire season, at 10.0%. As we noted in our article before the bye week, a good average for a season is around 9%.

The other component of POD is save percentage, which has also fallen off since returning from the bye-week. Since the bye week, the Capitals save percentage is 10th best in the league at .936%

This may be more of a concern than shooting percentage drops, but is also likely a correction to the extremely high save percentages that Braden Holtby and Philipp Grubauer were posting prior to the bye week. As is the case with shooting percentage, the Capitals are still number one in the league in Save Percentages

Extrapolating perceived facts from data sets can be a dangerous road, but at this point, it seems pretty clear that this is a simple correction to above-average numbers. However, watch these two stats over the next three weeks. If they continue to stagnate, as they did last season, we may have a problem. Otherwise, remember the Capitals still have the best record in the NHL, and the best PDO in the NHL.

The Capitals High Shooting Percentage Won’t Last Forever.

By Jon Sorensen

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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1 Response to Are the Capitals Plummeting PDO Statistics Problematic? Or Just A Simple Correction?

  1. The Caps–specifically former GM George McPhee–made one of the most imbecilic trades I’ve seen in any sport over the past 20 years–namely the acquisition of future Hall-of-Famers Martin Erat and Michael Latta for the former jewel of their farm system–then 20 year old highly skilled forward Filip Forsberg–a player who recently recorded hat tricks in consecutive games and has TEN goals in his most recent six contests…

    The Capitals cannot afford to make more stupid personnel decisions in thename of short term success–which they may well have done in acquiringdefenseman Kevin Shattenkirk—a superb puck carrying blue liner who isnevertheless a mediocre defender—in exchange for a young 6’4″ power forwardZach Sanford–who has better hands than Teacher’s Pet Tom Wilson—a player BarryTrotz is hopelessly enamored with, apparently.

    The problem is that if the Caps don’t win the Cup now, they will have partedwith a player in Sanford who could have played power forward for them for thenext 10 or 12 years in exchange for a player who, by all accounts, is no morethan a three month rental (and someone who, to boot, has a bad habit of givingup pucks in his own end–something that doesn’t figure to improve your chancesof winning a championship…)

    And if, God forbid, Shat gets injured, Washington once more will have woundup with NOTHING–as was the case with the Forsberg deal, since 33 year old Eratand incompetent scrub Latta were both let go, if you’ll recall…

    We’ll see how this all plays out, but I’m not encouraged…Historically, lastminute additions rarely culminate in Super Bowls, World Series or Stanley Cupsby the GM’s who pursue them…Even though this team is stronger, deeper and morecompetent than last year’s bunch I’m not confident that adding Shattenkirk willassure them of Lord Stanley’s Cup—and that’s something that I’d insist on–as ifthat were even possible–if I was making a deadline deal of this size and scope…

    This club already had a strong chance of winning it all prior to the trade without making overkill-type changes to the roster. And it could have been accomplished without forfeiting a good young power forward who’d likely have worn the team’s colors for many years come…Mark my words, I think this is going to backfire on the Caps…AGAIN…

    Also, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that this CAP’s team began to swoon after an uncharacteristically long layoff: If you’ll recall, last year Washington was sailing along winning every game in sight until inclement weather forced the team to the sidelines for something like 11 days. After that they looked somewhere between mediocre and awful–at least against the best teams in the league from that point forward. THIS YEAR the NHL brain-dead trust came up with the bright idea to give every team a five day layoff, which had the same effect on the Caps, apparently, that last year’s interruption did…THAT plus the fact that they lost four starters–Burakovsky, Oshie,Orlov and Orpik, as I recall, didn’t help matters.

    But all of that noted, this is a veteran team, and–as with last season’s swoon–it really shouldn’t be taking THIS long for them to snap out of it…This weekend will be telling—Frankly I see them losing both ends of the double header this weekend in LA–especially if the so-called Great Eight remains invisible–which is often the case if he isn’t putting the puck in the net…

    Santa Monica

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