Photo: Scott Rovak
When the Caps were losing games early in the season, it wasn’t a big deal. The Capitals were playing well when you measured their shot-attempt differential, but the goalies were letting in too many goals. Because goalies’ cumulative save percentages are extremely volatile early in the season, and because Braden Holtby’s career save percentage is pretty high, there wasn’t much cause for concern.
Now, after deflating losses to the Blues and Devils– both great possession teams– the Capitals’ possession seems to have eroded a bit. The goaltending, at least Holtby’s 96.4-percent effort on Friday, hasn’t been bad since early November. The problem now is that the Capitals can’t do the thing crucial to winning games: score goals.
You can chalk it up to urgency, and to some extent I do, but there is also mounting evidence that the Capitals are failing to optimize their offense. That’s the topic of this week’s snapshot.
Let’s do the numbers. These are current as of noon on Sunday, November 16th– but the Blues game is not included yet. The sample is restricted to 5v5 hockey when the score is close. That means the score is within one goal in the first two periods and tied in the third. There’s a glossary at bottom with an explanatory video.
|1 Orpik||2 Niskanen||3 Green|
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