That was fun! The Washington Capitals put up a dominant effort against the Carolina Hurricanes in a 6-0 bashing to take a 3-2 series lead. It was by far their best game of the series and is hopefully what we will see going forward. Oddly, this is one of those rare games where the eye test looks great and the numbers say it wasn’t so great. It’s possible data was input correctly. MoneyPuck provides the graphs.
The Caps still looked like the better team, number wise, but not as dominant as it seemed watching them live. But it’s also important to note this was just at 5v5, in All Situations, where the Caps had four power plays and the Canes had five, the Caps look a lot better.
The Caps absolutely stifled the Hurricanes in the special teams format. They killed all five penalties they took and scored on three of their four man advantages.
When we look at the numbers of the individual lines, it’s still head scratching. Supposedly, only the second line was good, the rest were listed as 35% or lower in Expected Goal%. It’s hard to believe that the Ovechkin-Backstrom-Wilon line, who seemed dominant all night, were less than 35% in xGF%.
And it’s the same thing for the defensive parings. Only the third pairing looked good according to the number, the rest were less than 40% at Expected Goals. That’s very hard to believe.
Jonas Siegenthaler was thrown onto the top pair with John Carlson and seemed to hold his own. Again, xGF% said he didn’t do to well, but according to Natural Stat Trick they said he was 2-0 in High Danger Scoring Chances. Carlson went 3-0. So that pairing seemed to have a good intro game.
But whatever the case, the Caps looked great tonight, and if they want to finish out this series on Monday they’ll have to bring the same game to Carolina. It will be tough. The Hurricanes will be fighting for their lives. They’ll also probably be getting Andrei Svechnikov back, while TJ Oshie probably won’t return to the playoffs at all. Get ready for a battle because it’s going to a grind fest.
By Luke Adomanis