I’ll openly admit I’ve not been watching the games very much recently (maybe half of them). This team has been maddeningly mediocre. Things looked so promising not so long ago, but something is different. Let’s see if there’s anything discernible in the trends to back this up.
As always any conclusions drawn are from the data. I’m not going off of what I think is happening from my subjective recollection of watching the games. There are far smarter folks than I that do that.
I guess, since the last post, things are looking a little better. Aside from that away game against the Isles. That one was ugly.
On the ten-game side of things they’re not looking great. The score-close metrics are the only ones that are above 50%. I bet if you take away the Buffalo game, they would be <50% in every category.
Can’t really blame everything on bad luck anymore. They’re still not getting lucky by any stretch, but there have been worse percentages for better teams.
The even strength save percentage is separating itself from the total save percentage in a hurry, and I bet you can guess why. We’ll see the breakdown of the penalty kill in a bit, but spoiler alert: it’s that. Lately though, the shooting percentage is troubling. They’re sitting at an even strength shooting percentage of 6.3% and a total shooting percentage of 7.2%. Those numbers are pretty bad. Granted the Kings have made them work…but the Caps are no Kings.
Something definitely looks troubling regarding the shots against allowed. Ever since their home game against Calgary, their shots against looks like Apple’s stock circa 2012. I would include the away game against Calgary as the point where things changed for the worse, but there wasn’t enough data to rely upon. Looking at the rolling data, they don’t seem to be shooting as much. If this continues, and if Mike Green stays injured, I may need to highlight his absence. It could be something telling.
Even strength shots are following the same trends. There really does seem to have been a change in systems or advice, given the stark rise in Shots against. Maybe Trotz had an overreaction to the early season defensive gaffes and is trying to force the defense to give up more shots “to the outside” vs just straight suppression.
Uh oh. Special teams ain’t so special anymore. Still above 100% for the year, but lately a ~90% STI is something that can bounce a team from the playoffs, provided things get chippy. And they always do.
Well it doesn’t look like the power play is the culprit to the special teams index taking a nosedive. But damn, the Caps are not drawing many penalties lately. Less than 2 per game. That could attribute to the dip in shot generation. They could be struggling to get in a rhythm on the power play. Or maybe Mike Green is good at hockey and they’re missing him in more than one area.
Ugh. That is ugly. They may not be getting penalized a lot in the very recent past, but that hasn’t mattered. They’re giving up a lot more shots than they typically do, and they’re getting worse goaltending to coincide with that perfectly shitty storm. Look no further for the cause of their two last losses. That may be hyperbole, they weren’t great in the other areas of those games either, but this is horrid.
Notice that really awful drop in FF% when up by 2 or more goals? Yeah, you know the cause of that? It’s because they have only had a lead of 2 or more goals once in the last 10 games. And they didn’t do well with that lead as can be seen. I’m not going to focus on that too much, because that was honestly one of their best games of the season (the win against the Isles at home). Well, it was if you discard the first 10 and last 1.5 minutes of the first period. But they’re still a woefully boring team when they have the lead. Fortunately, they haven’t had the lead a lot lately ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
This too makes me think systems or something is different. Since the Edmonton game (game 6) they went from allowing 24 Fenwick events per 60 minutes of tied ice time, to 32.7 Fenwick events per 60 minutes of tied ice time. That’s an increase of almost 35%. That’s significant. Whatever changed, they need to undo it.
And then here are a bunch of other plots you can look through and draw your own conclusions.
And then here’s how they’re looking if you’re curious about them making the playoffs already.
I call it: bad. And now to look at 4 things in one plot!
Things have leveled out a bit. Not all in a good way. I’d expect the STI to come back up, maybe the PDO will return to give a sweet little win streak. But now there seems to be things that are systemically wrong. And the players on the ice are doing the same old Caps things (I thought Orpik was supposed to stop those – that’s why they