Photo: Amanda Bowen
The weekly snapshot has been a very happy place so far. Overall, the Caps have been racking up points and doing so with underlying numbers that suggest their results are sustainable. Lately, however, some of the trends have been concerning. Braden Holtby has had to steal points for the team, which is the luxury of having an elite goalie. Over an 82-game season, an elite goalie will do that. But if the entire team fancies itself elite, they will need to rely on Holtby a lot less moving forward.
In the month of October, the Caps were the best shot suppression team in the league, allowing just 43.2 shot attempts against per 60 minutes of 5v5 play. Slowly but surely, since around Halloween, the team’s league-leading shot suppression abilities have deteriorated. From November forward the Caps are ranked 13th, allowing 51.1 shot attempts against per 60. Both numbers are adjusted for score, so score effects are not the issue here.
This has had a profound effect on the Caps’ overall possession. The graph below, from War on Ice, show the team’s 10-game rolling shot attempt percentage. In a hurry, this team has slid from elite to just pretty good.
Let’s do the numbers and see if we can figure anything out as to what is causing the Caps to look merely above average, and at times not even that good, in recent weeks.
All numbers, unless otherwise cited or linked to, are from War on Ice
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under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license.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.