We’re quickly approaching the trade deadline. Now’s a a great time to take stock at how the Washington Capitals are looking — something the team seems to be thinking as well as they called up depth defenseman Martin Fehervary for a big-league audition this week.
With that in mind, here’s an exercise we do from time to time. Let’s see what’s working and what’s not in the Caps lineup.
We’ve done this exercise a bunch of times, and I’ve shared more recent versions on the RMNB patreon, but now we’ve got some better metrics to use and a big sample to draw from. If you’re unfamiliar, here’s a quick guide:
When it’s all done, you get a pretty grid where the top-left represents a big chunk of the team’s ice time and the bottom-right represents way left. We want a lot of green at top-left.
Unlike previous attempts, I’m going to use expected-goals percentage instead of the team’s shot share. This percentage counts higher quality shots (based on location and context) more than others. Fifty percent would mean the Caps and their opponents break even in expected goals when a given player is on the ice. I’ll also share a version with ice time below.
This exercise is really good for just sorta gently staring at the picture to divine how the team’s doing overall, but also for drilling into problem areas or big successes. We’ll do exactly that below.
That’s all I’ve got for now. What do you see that I missed, or what do you think I got wrong?
Headline photo: Cara Bahniuk
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