Welcome to the 11th 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 38 games) and the current stats and rankings for today (after 42 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 9-2 drubbing of the Canadiens at Capital One Arena, but then fell to the Buffalo Sabres, 5-4, on home ice. The Capitals completed the week with a 6-2 win over the Blue Jackets in Columbus and a 3-2 loss to the Predators on Friday night.
Penalty Kill – Not much red (negative trend) in the chart above this week. The penalty kill took a very minor dip, dropping to ninth the league. Again, a minor dip and nothing really to complain about.
Penalties Drawn – The Capitals penalties drawn dipped again for the fourth straight week. It’s difficult to ascertain why the Capitals are drawing fewer penalties, and it’s not necessarily a concern, but something to continue watching for the coming games.
Turnovers – The Capitals turnovers stats continue to dip for the third consecutive week, although this week’s drop is very minor. That’s on both sides, as they are coughing up the puck more and not stealing the puck as much. Something to also keep an eye on.
Possession – The Capitals possession metrics continue to improve for the 10th-straight week. Most notably is the Capitals high-danger goals for percentage (HDGF%) which has now climbed well above 50%.
Shots Fore/Against – The Capitals continue to improve in their shots for and shots against. They now have the 10th-best shots against average in the NHL. The shots for average, which sunk to the bottom of the league for the first month of the season, has now climbed to 16-best in the league.
Shooting Percentage – The Capitals shooting percentage continues to climb after a pedestrian start to the season. They now have the 12th-best percentage in the league.
THE WEEK AHEAD
The Capitals begin the week with a tilt against the Columbus Blue Jackets Sunday afternoon at Capital One Arena. They then have a home-and-home set with the Philadelphia Flyers beginning on Wednesday in Philadelphia and concluding on Saturday at Capital One Arena.
By Jon Sorensen