Thursday night the Caps started off a three-game homestand by shutting out the New Jersey Devils 1-0. This game was an utter snooze-fest, with Braden Holtby’s league-leading eighth shutout only requiring that he block 15 pucks. But despite the slow pace, the Capitals passed yet another milestone, with their franchise record 14th straight home win. Jakub Vrana also scored his second NHL goal.
This was the fewest shots on goal that the Caps have given up in any game this year, but it was far from the fewest shot attempts. Somehow the Devils actually out-attempted the Capitals 34 to 32 at five-on-five, while the Caps were ahead 59 to 50 in all situation.
Matt Niskanen gets it for this game. Just recently back from injury he had the most ice time of any Caps skater at five-on-five, and he ended the evening plus-four in shot attempts, plus-five in shots on goal, and plus four in scoring chances (all at five-on-five). And all of that was despite only getting two starts in the offensive zone.
Recently we wrote about how Ovechkin has been showing his age. This trend has continued, and other than a very recent uptick, Ovechkin’s 15-game personal shot attempt rate is near a season minimum. That said, his overall on-ice possession numbers (the share of shot attempts that are in the Caps’ favor while Ovi is playing) have been improving. Overall, while Ovechkin may not be producing as much offensive individually, it still appears as though he is effective while on the ice. Here are visualizations of both trends, courtesy of Corisca.Hockey.
Ovi 15-game individual shot attempts per 60 minutes:
Ovi 15-game on-ice shots-for percentage:
Stats courtesy of NaturalStatTrick and Corisca.Hockey.
Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI.
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