Caps Scoring Chances thru Oct 24, 2010

Semin scores, Perreault celebrates

Perreault’s debut yields two assists & a +7 scoring differential. (Photo credit: Clydeorama)

What a week. We saw the PK streak come to an end at 25, the Caps roster looks like a scene from M*A*S*H and even the owner called the team average. Then Atlanta got InSEMINated so my fervor for logging the chances of each and every game has been renewed.

scoringChanceDiagramMy definition as to what I consider a scoring chance is narrow by design – I am only looking to log quality scoring chances, not every shot directed at net. I look for a shot taken in the wedge shape pattern whose point is at the goal, extending outward through the faceoff dots and around the top of the circles. There is some great work being done on the topic of shot quality and as you’ll see in the diagram below, which has the latest 2009-10 Shot Quality data from Ken Krzywicki (including how shot type is not as significant as shot angle – neat stuff), there is a method to my madness.

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Alex Semin (3 goals) celebrates with Mathieu Perreault (two assists) after his 5th career hat trick.

Ovechkin (9 hits) may not have scored, but the Trashers certainly felt his presence. (Photo credit: Nick Wass)

Ovechkin (9 hits) may not have scored, but the Trashers certainly felt his presence. (Photo credit: Nick Wass)

The hat-tricker and the catalyst celebrate their line’s third goal of the night. (Photo credit: Nick Wass)

As the Capitals entered tonight’s game against the Atlanta Thrashers, everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. Semyon Varlamov could not make his scheduled start due to a flame-up of his #brittlegroin. Caps regulars Boyd Gordon (rest) and Marcus Johansson (hip flexor) could not dress due to nagging pains. And Tom Poti was a late scratch with an undisclosed injury.

The Caps, who had just lost two straight games to the Boston Bruins rather unimpressively, were forced to go with a patch-work lineup which included minor league call-ups Mathieu Perreault, Jay Beagle, & Dany Sabourin as well as a not-at-full-strength Mike Green.

When the puck dropped and the first period came to a close, the Capitals resembled the same struggling team that had lost Tuesday and Thursday. They were down 1-0 and the Thrashers outshot them 13-4..

Things quickly got rectified in the Caps lockerroom, however. “Kanoobs had a little speech,” Michal Neuvirth explained post-game. “[After his talk] we were getting better every minute. …We dominated in the third period. He just wasn’t happy with our effort. …We’re getting outshot on home ice. It just can’t happen.”

The Capitals then came out and outshot Atlanta 40 to 14 the rest of the game. Riding an Alex Semin natural hat trick, two assists from fan-favorite Mathieu Perreault, and a clutch backhand gwg from Flash, the Caps trash the Thrash in OT, 4-3.

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