Improving the Little Details: What Areas Can the Capitals Fine-Tune In Order to Remain A Playoff Contender?


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.

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.


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

About George Foussekis

I am a sports fanatic. I love hockey and football, and I enjoy writing about my two favorite sports. I am a proud Old Dominion University alum.
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3 Responses to Improving the Little Details: What Areas Can the Capitals Fine-Tune In Order to Remain A Playoff Contender?

  1. Jon Sorensen says:

    Faceoff winning percentages will likely drop off, without Williams, unless Kuzy can improve a bit.

  2. jane says:

    Giveaways are definitely product of overpassing. Overpassing is product of absence of preassure
    on players to go to net and score, absence of urgency, absence of meaningfull games in regular season, they did not need to perform better for the win in regular season / which left them unprepared for real playoff games/.
    It has nothing to do with players skills , only they need to play meaningfull games earlier than
    in playoff.

  3. Tom Wilson was flying in that video

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