Capitals Weekly Trends: Recent Struggles Continue As Roster And Lineup Remain In Flux

Welcome to the 12th 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 42 games) and the current stats and rankings for today (after 45 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 an underwhelming 1-0 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on home ice. They then lost both games in a home-and-home set with the Philadelphia Flyers; 5-3 in Philadelphia on Wednesday and 3-1 in Washington on Saturday night.


There is plenty of red in this weeks statistics, as most key categories took a hit. Both the power play and penalty kill dipped for the week, as did the Capitals ‘goals for’ rate. Shots for and against also saw a dip, but it was extremely minor and they remain ranked in the same spots as last week. Penalties drawn and penalties taken also experienced a drop-off.

While the Capitals Corsi For (CF%) actually improved this week, the remainder of the Capitals possession metrics took their first sizable drop for the first time in many weeks. We actually began to see these stats stagnate and show signs of dropping [signs of a wobble?] beginning in last weeks trends. As noted in “signs of a wobble?”, the start of the Capitals decline directly aligns with the absence of John Carlson, although that can’t be directly attributed at this level of analysis.


Positives were scant this week. Even in the win over the Blue Jackets, the Capitals underlying stats were less than impressive, with the Jackets outperforming the Capitals in many key statistical categories.

The Capitals goaltending continues to be the rock for the Capitals, as they have actually improved their standing in the league. The tandem of Darcy Kuemper and Charlie Lindgren are now the 8th nest in the league.

The following graph plots the Capitals team goaltending rankings throughout the course of the 2022-23 season: [Click to enlarge].

The Capitals faceoffs have also been steadily improving for the last two months and is very close to topping the 50% mark for the first time this season. [Click to enlarge]


The Capitals begin the week with a tilt against the Islanders in New York on Monday. They then return home to host the Minnesota Wild the following night at Capital One Arena. The Capitals then head back on the road for their annual trip to Colorado, Las Vegas and Arizona.

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: Recent Struggles Continue As Roster And Lineup Remain In Flux

  1. Brianna says:

    That is a lot of math

  2. Anonymous says:

    A lot of the stats have landed in the middle of the pack for most of the season, and likely where the Capitals sit when all is said and done.

    • hockeydruid says:

      True, they are not a legitimate Cup contender now. Hopefully the GM will not make any boneheaded moves to bring in players to try and make the playoffs. This team needs all the young talent that is in Hershey for next years team. They also need picks that are higher than in the mid to low 20’sof each round.

  3. James says:

    Yeah, I agree with that. No objective person had the Caps picked as a genuine SC contender this year. The fact that the Caps have over-performed has been a nice feature. And we’ve uncovered some nice talent. Who knows what Backstrom and Wilson have left (career wise), but they’re not going to affect this year’s team a lot – at least not positively. Don’t, please don’t trade away some of this team’s future for a long-shot at some play-off success.

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      Good points James, and personally agree with your roster management philosophy. They’ve already traded away two picks in the 2023 draft and 2024 second-round pick.

    • Mark Eiben says:

      Bmac never makes panic moves like you are talking about. Last year when the team was ‘meh’ he said he would not add significantly to the roster and he did not. This year is probably more of the same. They are not a lock for the playoffs you can see and it’s still too early to tell whether he would ‘add’ or ‘sell’ anyway.

      • Jon Sorensen says:

        I mostly agree. Mac’s in-season acquisitions have been A+ This year. I mean, where would we be without Milano and Aube-Kubel, who are 2nd and 3rd on the team in ixG.

        However, Mac does like to trade draft picks at the deadline and that’s showing in our prospect pool.

        • Mark Eiben says:

          Yes they’ve been very nice adds for sure. I can’t see a big TDL add this year either if they squeak in the playoffs. Would probably be a waste of assets. Bringing in a top player won’t improve your chances against the likes of Boston or Carolina or Tampa.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Next weeks numbers will be real interesting to me, as Backy and Willy start to get into the groove and lines become a little more stable

  5. Anonymous says:

    Hoots think Eller and or Mantha are dealt before deadline.

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