Washington Capitals Weekly Trends: Slideways Into The Break

Welcome to the 14th 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 49 games, and the current stats and rankings for today, after 53 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 the week with a 3-2 loss to the Avalanche in Denver, which was followed by a 3-2 shootout victory over the Penguins last Thursday. The team then hit the road (again) for a 5-1 loss to the Maple Leafs in Toronto and ended the week snapshot with a 4-3 overtime victory against the Blue Jackets in Columbus.


Shooting Percentage – The Capitals team shooting percentage (8.24%) at five-on-five dipped again and is once again below the league average of 8.34%. [Click to enlarge].

Possession Metrics – All of the Capitals key possession metrics took a dip over the last four games, although the minor drops had little impact on their overall rankings in the league for each of the stats.

The Capitals still remain in the healthy range with regards to expected goals for percentage, although the the recent trend has been in decline for two weeks. The middle 20 games played (xGF% of 56.03%) continues to buoy the team’s stat over 53 games. [Click to enlarge].

Goals For and Against – The Capitals also took minor hits in their goals for and against, although, once again their overall rankings in the league remained the same or actually improved.


Penalties  – There’s not much in the green band for this weeks snapshot. The Capitals continue to improve in penalties drawn and penalties taken, and now have the third-best penalties taken average in the league.

Shots For – The Capitals shots for per game average also saw a slight increase for this week’s snapshot. It should be noted that shots against saw a very slight increase, with the team remaining 10th in the league.

PDO – If you are a believer in the value of this stat, then the significance here is that the Capitals “luck” has evened-out and sits at a flat 1.00.


The Capitals are off for the week and will return next Thursday, February 9 for their first practice. They will practice again next Friday before departing for Boston in advance of their first game back against the Bruins next Saturday. They then return home for a three-game homestand starting next Sunday against the San Jose Sharks, followed by the Hurricanes the following Tuesday and the Panthers the following Thursday.

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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5 Responses to Washington Capitals Weekly Trends: Slideways Into The Break

  1. Anonymous says:

    These numbers stack up with the eye test. Dismal showing in Toronto, good play in Colorado, even with the loss, shaky game against Bluejackets. All the rankings seem to average out at 15th. Also seems right.

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