Last night, the Capitals where shut out by the New York Islanders, falling 3-0 in a frustrating game. There was plenty of disappointment to go around for the Capitals. Justin Williams continued his run of poor luck when he missed out on scoring a late first period goal by 0.1 seconds, and looked shaken after an elbow from Cal Clutterbuck. The Caps allowed three quick third period strikes by the Islanders (two gift-wrapped by Dmitry Orlov). They will probably want to put this game in the rearview and forget about it.
Although at times the Caps looked bad — like horrible bad — last night’s shot chart shows that they were doing something very right. The Caps managed 54 five-on-five shot attempts while the Islanders only had 34. If you take into account the man-advantage time the Caps had in their five power play attempts they outshot the Islanders by a massive margin of 87-47. Check out the five-on-five shot chart below.
While it’s tempting to conclude that the Capitals were taking these shots from the outside or that they were lower quality, a look at the shot location chart says otherwise. The Caps took 19 shots from between the hash marks or below (i.e. right in front of the Isles’ net), while the Islanders only took 8 shots of their own from around that same area. That said, three of those 8 shots from the Islanders found the back of the net, which was the difference. Here is a visualization of where on the rink those five-on-five shots came from.
Barry Trotz was not too upset during his postgame comments, despite what appeared to be a sloppy and mistake-filled effort by the Capitals. These shot charts back up the idea that this game might not have been as terrible as it seemed.
Stats courtesy of hockeystats.ca. Headline photo by Patrick McDermott.
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