Capitals Weekly Trends – Possession And Shot Metrics Continue To Improve

Welcome to the fifth installment of our Washington Capitals weekly trends report. The regular feature provides a very 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 for last week (Left side – after 18 games) and the current stats and rankings for today (after 20 games). The colors indicate improving (green) and/or worsening (red) trends over the past week. [Click to enlarge]

This week’s snapshot includes just two games. The week began with a 5-4 shootout loss to the Blues in St. Louis and ended with a 4-0 blanking to the Colorado Avalanche on home ice.


Penalty Kill – the penalty continues a three-week dip in performance. Injuries have been prevalent during that three-week decline, but not as much in this weeks snapshot. They are down from a season high of 81.0% (8th rank) to 78.3% (16th rank). 

Goals For – 5-on-5 scoring continues to be a challenge for the Capitals, and arguably the biggest reflection of the team’s injuries to date. Lines have been continuously changing, with no one line ever really providing any kind of consistent play.


Possession – The Capitals possession metrics continue to improve, and the improvement has been consistent over several weeks now, which is a very good sign. The team’s Corsi For CF% (shot attempts percentage) is above 50% for the first time. Their expected goals for percentage (xGF%), scoring chances for percentage (SCF%) and high-danger shot attempts percentage (HDCF%) are all on the rise. This may be the biggest positive in a big picture sense.

Shots For/Against  – The Capitals average shots for and shots against continue to improve, also a positive for longer-term health.

Turnovers  – The Capitals continue to improve in both take-aways per 60 and give-always per 60. Also a good long-term trend.


As stated last week, the team needs to find a way to hang on for dear life until the cavalry comes – or players begin returning from injury. Compounding the issue, the first half of the season’s schedule for the Capitals is the most difficult, so .500 by the start of January might not be so bad, considering the ease of the schedule in the second half of the season.

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.
This entry was posted in News and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Capitals Weekly Trends – Possession And Shot Metrics Continue To Improve

  1. novafyre says:

    ” the team needs to find a way to hang on for dear life until the Calvary comes – or players begin returning from injury. ”

    What if Osh comes back and then goes out again? What if Backy comes back and isn’t effective? What if Tom is delayed to March? What cavalry is out there available and willing to come to the Caps’ aid?

    The Caps are maxing out their credit cards (digging a hole) in anticipation of a huge Christmas bonus. I feel that this is an unrealistic expectation. We have to better use the cards we have been dealt. But Lavi isn’t in the game.

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      I think there are some positives on the horizon. 1) players are returning, 2O schedule is easier in the second half of the season.

      • novafyre says:

        I’m not as optimistic as you are Jon, but I hope you’re right and I’m wrong. Would love to be wrong.

        • Jon Sorensen says:

          I would say I’m in the “optimistic” category 😁 Just the “wait and see for a little bit longer” category.

          This year’s trade deadline could be the formal decision. They will probably make some pretty big decisions in January/early February.

    • Jonathan says:

      Backy will definitely be effective if he comes back, but I think a better question would be the same one you have for Oshie: What if he comes back and then goes out again (due to injury)?

      Returning players are no magic wand. You bring legit important question about whether Lavi is the answer to the question. But Lavi alone or someone else alone can’t be the answer to the question either.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Has anyone seen the Devils shot differential? Incredible

Leave a Reply