The Washington Capitals won a huge game 5 at home yesterday. It was a hard-fought battle with ups and downs, but the game ultimately went the Capitals way.
Let’s take a look at the underlying numbers provided by Natural Stat Trick.
The numbers match the eye test if you were watching along. The Capitals were good, but not great in the first two periods and the overtime: 19-17 in scoring chances and 10-4 in high danger chances.
But it seemed like the Capitals played a lot worse due to that horrific 3rd period. And if it wasn’t for Braden Holtby, the Capitals would have more than likely lost.
It can’t be stressed enough, how important it was for the Capitals to win that game. Why is that important? Well when was the last time you saw the Capitals win a playoff game where they weren’t the dominating team? And when they do dominate, they don’t win a lot.
If you look back at all Stanley Cup winners, they won a handful of games in the playoffs where they weren’t the better team. Just look at the Pittsburgh Penguins during their Cup run last season. They were completely dominated by the Capitals in at least 3 games and had no business winning in two of their games against the Nashville Predators.
It’s kind of like a right of passage: win playoff games you don’t really deserve. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come. Not to play poorly, but to win games no matter what happens. That’s how teams win the Cup.
By Luke Adomanis