The Washington Capitals have been among the league’s best over the last 3 years. While they have fallen short of their goal, they have produced a lot of wins in the Barry Trotz era.
Most wins in past three #NHL seasons
Isles 133 pic.twitter.com/as3gjp9rDR
— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) July 27, 2017
While the Capitals have scored many goals over the last couple of seasons, the Capitals are a little weak in various areas of their overall team game. While the Capitals do a lot of things very well, there are some areas that need to be addressed by the coaching staff as the club heads into the 2017-18 season.
What areas do the Capitals need to address heading into the new season? Let’s dive into some areas where the Capitals could improve their overall game.
While the Capitals have one of the top faceoff players in the NHL with Jay Beagle, the team struggles to win many draws. In 2016-17, the Capitals won just 49.8% of their draws. Their faceoff effectiveness is right in the middle of the pack in the NHL. While faceoffs can be overlooked, they are important because they can dictate who has control of the puck on the ice. A team that can control the puck more can have an increased chance to score more goals.
SHOTS ON GOAL
The Capitals are a strong team at puck control. However, they are a middle of the pack team with throwing rubber at the net. The Capitals averaged 30.4 shots per game in 2016-17. Pittsburgh and Boston were tops in the NHL with more than 33 shots on goal per game. While the Capitals were among the league’s best with 261 goals, the shots on goal totals seem a bit low and should have been a bit higher.
The Capitals committed 312 minor penalties last season, which was ranked 3rd most in the NHL. While the Capitals had a respectable penalty kill that was ranked 7th best, the Capitals were not able to generate a lot of powerplay opportunities to cancel out the minor penalties they took.
The Capitals had 853 giveaways last season, which was 5th most in the league. Giveaways can be a product of “overpassing,” something the Capitals tended to do too often. With more shots on net, the Capitals should see a drop in their giveaway totals.
By: George Foussekis