Photo: Bruce Bennett
The Caps enter game four trailing the Islanders 2-1. Given that the Caps season doesn’t end if they lose game four, this game is not a must win. If someone tells you this game is a “must win”, please tell them they are factually incorrect. A loss would reduce their chances of winning the series though.
But, before the puck drops for game four, here’s a look back at the first three games, courtesy of usage charts from War on Ice.
The first line has been deployed about how we’d expect. Favorable zone starts, but facing stiff competition.
It’s a bit surprising to see Marcus Johansson and Troy Brouwer facing such tough competition and zone starts relative to the third line, who has been tasked with facing the Islanders first line, when possible. Perhaps there haven’t been enough favorable zone starts to go around through three games, and they are all being hogged by the first line.
Trotz seems to be getting his ideal deployments for his defensemen. The first pair has seen tough minutes, the third pair very favorable minutes, and the second line has been facing tough minutes, but not against the top competition.
There’s a lot going on here, and three games of data allows for a lot of noise, but here are a few of the outliers.
What’s the point of having a chart with Alex Ovechkin included when one of the axis is individual shot attempts. The giant cluster of guys supports what I’ve said previously: The Caps lack of depth at forward is alarming and will likely be their downfall.
Hopefully a lot of those dark red circles (zero percent shooting percentage) will start to turn towards a pretty blue as the series progresses.
Game four draws nigh. Let’s go Caps.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.