Capitals Weekly Trends: Goaltending Continues To Surge, Power Play Dipping, Again

Welcome to the second installment of our Washington Capitals weekly trends report. The new regular feature provides a brief snapshot of the most relevant statistical trends for Capitals over the past seven days.

The following table lists the Capitals team stats and league rankings from last week (Left side – after 7 games) and the current stats and rankings for today (after 11 games). The colors indicate improving (green) and worsening (red) trends over the past week. [Click to enlarge]


Power Play – The power play continues to fluctuate during the first 11 games of the season. After starting out 0 for 9, the power play unit got hot, improving to 11th in the league last week. However, the unit saw an overall drop from 25.0% to 20.6% over the past week.

Penalties Taken – The Capitals saw an increase in penalties over the past week, falling from 4th-best rate in the league to 13th in the league.


Penalty Kill – The penalty kill has been surging over the past week, improving 8% and moving up from 25th in the league to 8th in the league, and killed 5 of 6 penalties Monday night against the Hurricanes. After a poor start to the season, new penalty kill coach Scott Allen has the unit playing well.

Goals Against – The ‘Goals Against’ stat also rebounded nicely this week, mostly due to the excellent play by both Darcy Kuemper. The Capitals move up from 25th in the league to 10th in the league. The Capitals now have the 3rd and 4th best save percentages in the Metropolitan Division. Combined, they have the best tandem in the division.

Turnovers – The Capitals reduced their turnovers per game average, improving from 24th in the league to 18th in the league.

Possession – The Capitals possession metrics continue to gradually improve. Although still in the bottom third of the league, the numbers have improved from last week, and will take time to counter the extremely poor start by the team with regards to the advanced stats.

The Capitals, overall, had a good week and currently sit with 11 standings points, just 2 points behind first place Carolina.

The Capitals get right back to work tonight when they host the Vegas Knights at Capital One Arena. Puck drop is set for 7PM.

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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11 Responses to Capitals Weekly Trends: Goaltending Continues To Surge, Power Play Dipping, Again

  1. novafyre says:

    8 up, 2 the same, 12 down. If this were for a student, I would be calling the parent for a discussion.

    I heard Alan May pooh-pooh faceoffs as an issue but Lightning studio analyst Bobby the Chief Taylor really raked the Bolts over for their poor faceoff performance arguing how closing the faceoff in the offensive zone gave away the zone advantage and how losing it anywhere to a fast team put an older, slower team behind the players and often caused more penalties. Sounded more convincing than Alan to me. So I find that number very alarming. It’s an issue that we just don’t seem to be addressing.

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