Capitals Weekly Trends: A Mixed Bag Of Stats In An Otherwise Positive Week


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

The following table lists the Capitals team stats and league rankings for last week (Left side – after 34 games) and the current stats and rankings for today (after 38 games). The colors indicate improving (green) and/or worsening (red) trends over the past week. [Click to enlarge]

[The statistics used in this post are courtesy of Natural Stat Trick and the NoVa Caps Advanced Analytics Model (NCAAM). If you’d like to learn more about the statistical terms used in this post, please check out our NHL Analytics Glossary]

The Capitals began this week’s snapshot with a 3-2 overtime win against the Senators in Ottawa. They followed the win in Ottawa with a pair of convincing wins against the Winnipeg Jets on home ice and a 4-0 drubbing over the Rangers in New York City following the holiday break. This week’s snapshot ended with a 4-3 overtime loss to the Senators on home ice.

NEGATIVES

Possession Metrics  – Most of the Capitals possession metrics took a minor hit this week, mostly due to the Ottawa Senators game. Possession stats had shown steady improvement for the last 5-6 weeks, so this really isn’t too alarming, as long as the team rebounds this week.

Shots For/Against  – The Capitals shot production and shot suppression has been steadily improving over recent weeks, so this weeks dip isn’t too concerning, especially when you consider the numbers from the second Ottawa game.

Power Play – The Capitals power play dropped again this week, as they remain in the bottom third of the league in the man advantage.

POSITIVES

Goals For/Against – The Capitals continue to improve in one of the more important basic stats.

High-Danger Goals For Percentage – The Capitals high-danger goals for percentage has risen to an even 50%, which is excellent considering it was in the 30’s just over a month ago. High-danger goals show a team’s ability to penetrate defenses, and is also an important metric for postseason, where there is a higher premium on these types of goals.

Shooting Percentage – The team’s shooting percentage continues to gradually improve following a terrible start to the season. They are still in the bottom third of the league, but as long as the trend continues to improve, there are no concerns.

Penalty Kill – The Capitals penalty kill continues to strengthen and now have the 8th-best percentage in the NHL. A tip of the cap to Scott Allen for continuing and even improving on a solid penalty kill that was left by Scott Arniel.

THE WEEK AHEAD

The Capitals host the Montreal Canadiens for the final game of 2022 on Saturday, then begin 2023 hosting the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday. They will then make a quick trip to Columbus to visit the Blue Jackets on Thursday before returning home to host the Nashville Predators the following night.

By Jon Sorensen

SEASON TOTALS

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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2 Responses to Capitals Weekly Trends: A Mixed Bag Of Stats In An Otherwise Positive Week

  1. Anonymous says:

    I’m surprised there isn’t more consternation over Capitals power play.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Like you said, it will interesting to see where shot metrics head after the statistical trouncing by the Senators.

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