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Scouting The Enemy: Washington Capitals

A look behind the numbers while the Panthers gear up for their showdown in Chinatown.

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

I used the tools at war-on-ice.com for all the statistical breakdown.

This first table shows on-ice Corsi differential on the horizontal axis. Players on the left have negative results, players on the right, positive. The further left or right the player, the more positive or negative in terms of shot generation. The vertical axis denotes where on the ice each player was for each faceoff. The players up higher enjoyed more faceoffs in the positive zone, and the further up they are, the more opportunities they had in the offensive zone. The size of each circle shows how much time each player was on the ice, while the color of each circle shows the Corsi% of the opposing players on the ice, weighted for ice time. The "bluer" the circle, the higher % Corsi their opponents put up.

Capitals Advanced Stats

  • No big surprise that Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom showed up with the highest differential between positive and negative Corsi events. They did this while matched up in a lot of different situations, as they were ranked right around the middle of the team in zone starts, around 55%.
  • Andre Burakovsky had less success with much a lot more opportunity, and against players with a much lower incidence of high Corsi%.
  • Karl Alzner and Matt Niskanen have been as close to average as possible, with Corsi% and ZS% right around the 50% mark.
  • Nate Schmidt and Mike Green help to generate a lot of shots, but nothing out of the ordinary considering their high incidence of offensive zone starts and the low Corsi% of their opponents.

Capitals Last 10 Games

Date

Opponent

PDO

GF

GA

G+/-

CF%

CP60

OFOn%

OSh%

OSv%

FO%

ZSO%

2015-01-01

CHI

100.0

1

1

0

51.2

113.7

65.8

4.0

96.0

45.3

50.0

2014-12-29

NYI

110.2

3

1

2

46.0

120.6

80.0

15.0

95.2

54.1

54.2

2014-12-27

PIT

112.0

3

0

3

55.0

112.6

71.4

12.0

100.0

59.1

38.7

2014-12-23

NYR

90.5

1

2

-1

64.6

94.0

70.0

4.8

85.7

46.5

54.2

2014-12-22

OTT

101.2

1

1

0

50.0

117.4

62.1

5.6

95.7

56.4

55.2

2014-12-20

N.J

123.1

3

0

3

44.0

63.1

72.2

23.1

100.0

48.7

50.0

2014-12-18

CBJ

105.4

4

2

2

59.5

96.8

76.5

15.4

90.0

40.9

45.0

2014-12-16

FLA

95.8

0

1

-1

48.8

94.0

67.9

0.0

95.8

43.5

53.6

2014-12-13

T.B

108.1

3

2

1

39.2

106.3

81.0

17.6

90.5

57.1

42.9

2014-12-11

CBJ

94.2

1

2

-1

53.9

105.0

65.5

5.3

88.9

57.5

38.5

Some trends to look out for:

  • Washington's PDO, or "puck luck" has been running at or above league average in six of their last seven matchups. In other words, the results of their last seven games are better than they should have been, based on the bounce of the puck. They've scored 20 even strength goals and allowed 12. When these numbers are plugged into the Corsi statistics for and against them, it's clear some regression is to be expected in the near future. Will it happen with tonight's matchup? We can only hope.
  • The Caps have won an average of 51% of their faceoff attempts.
  • That 3-0 win over the Penguins on December 27th? That one was apparently very well earned. They totaled a very low 39% offensive zone starts while generating 55% of the shots in the game, 63-to-53.
  • That 4-3 loss to the New York Islanders? The Caps outscored New York 3-1 at even strength, but were winning with what seems to be smoke and mirrors. The story at even strength shows that Washington was getting outworked and outhustled, as their total shot generation was 8.2% lower than their positive zone starts.
  • That infamous 20-rounder? Florida earned that one in regulation, but in hindsight, I'm glad we got to see it.
  • The 4-2 loss to the Rangers on December 23rd? The Caps should have won that one. They put 60 shots toward King Henrik and allowed 48 at their own end. Their resulting 64% Corsi was 10% higher than their zone starts.

Panthers Last 10 Games

Date

Opp

PDO

GF

GA

G+/-

CF%

CP60

OFOn%

OSh%

OSv%

FO%

ZSO%

2015-01-02

BUF

103.2

1

0

1

53.3

95.2

79.5

3.2

100.0

43.3

51.1

2014-12-31

NYR

92.5

1

4

-3

47.6

96.7

65.4

5.9

86.7

57.1

60.0

2014-12-30

MTL

98.7

1

1

0

57.6

101.6

78.4

3.4

95.2

54.0

51.3

2014-12-28

TOR

97.6

4

3

1

53.4

98.4

77.8

14.3

83.3

67.4

79.2

2014-12-22

PIT

100.0

3

2

1

54.2

107.3

79.4

11.1

88.9

38.5

41.9

2014-12-20

PIT

83.3

0

3

-3

66.7

131.4

72.5

0.0

83.3

52.3

63.3

2014-12-18

PHI

98.7

1

1

0

56.4

106.0

76.3

3.4

95.2

54.2

68.6

2014-12-16

WSH

104.2

1

0

1

51.2

94.0

66.7

4.2

100.0

56.5

46.4

2014-12-13

BUF

101.1

3

3

0

49.5

105.9

73.0

11.1

90.0

47.6

36.8

2014-12-12

DET

111.1

2

0

2

48.5

93.0

66.7

11.1

100.0

28.9

50.0

Other trends:

  • Florida's win over Detroit on December 12th? They did it despite winning less than 30% of their faceoffs and finishing with a sky-high 111.1 PDO.
  • Pittsburgh's win over the Panthers on December 20th? Shouldn't have happened. Florida generated 80 shots towards MAF, and allowed only 54 toward Bobby Lou. An 83.3 PDO indicates that the Panthers endured some terrible luck.
  • Speaking of terrible luck, Florida's only managed a favorable PDO in one of their last seven contests - a 103.2 against the Sabres on Friday. They somehow managed to finish those seven games at 4-2-1. Was it grit or luck? PDO says it was grit.
  • When the Panthers win with a PDO under 100, it generally means that they outshot their opponents. They actually did this by quite a wide margin, outshooting the bad guys in seven of their last eight games.

The Panthers are currently ninth in the Eastern Conference, but the advanced stats seem to suggest that they've been shorted with some of their results. Florida is better than they've been showing - it's not a house of cards. Tune in to see if Florida can continue to impress us as the season goes on, at 3PM. The GameThread goes live at 2:30.