The Capitals’ loss to Barry Trotz’s New York Islanders on Friday night was a proverbial four point game in the NHL’s Metropolitan division.
With the win, the Islanders overtook both the Capitals and the Columbus Blue Jackets to secure the first place in the division.
The Capitals had been leading the division for the better part of the 2018-19 season, only recently giving up the top spot to the Blue Jackets on January 15.
We are 108 days into the 2018-19 season. By my count, the Caps have held the Metro Division lead for 53 of those 108 days (and 49 of the last 56). Not bad.
— Becca (@BeccaH_JR) January 19, 2019
The Capitals now sit in third after their third straight regulation loss and their fourth straight loss overall.
Only two points separate the top four teams in the Metropolitan division.
The Islanders missed the postseason last season and sit in first place this year despite losing star forward John Tavares over the offseason. Barry Trotz has received much of the credit for the team’s turnaround. One thing that may explain the Isles’ success is that they are the luckiest team in the league, according to Natural Stat Trick.
The Isles have a 103 percent PDO, tied for the league lead with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
PDO (called SPSV% by the NHL) is the sum of a team’s shooting percentage and its save percentage. PDO is usually measured at even strength, and based on the theory that most teams will ultimately regress toward a sum of 100, is often viewed as a proxy for how lucky a team is.
The Isles, as a team, boast the fourth highest shooting percentage (9.5 percent) and the fourth highest save percentage (93.4 percent) in the league at five-on-five, suggesting they are a paper tiger and tough times may be coming soon.
This stat on the Islanders from NHL:
* Through 47 games, the Islanders lead the NHL with only 119 goals against (including three shootout-deciding goals). At the same point last season, the club had allowed 173 goals against, the most in the League.
— Tom Gulitti (@TomGulittiNHL) January 19, 2019
Ian Oland also contributed to this story.
Headline photo: Patrick McDermott/NHLI
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under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license.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.