The Capitals are undefeated in games in which Boyd Gordon plays. (Photo credit: Greg Fiume)
Another week has passed, and we saw Alex Ovechkin get his first power play goals, Perreault make a case to be sent back down to Hershey, and the duo of Erskine and Sloan have such a good game that NHL.com decided it would rather shut down its whole server than to acknowledge it.
With 13% of the season in the books, here is my weekly recap of the Caps scoring chances.
I use a specific definition of what I consider a scoring chance based on shot quality data and log everyone who is on the ice at the time using the script from Vic Ferrari. As always you can find the spreadsheet online.
The cracks in the “Flash as 2C” experiment seem to be showing. If we adjust his Corsi for his offensive zone starts he is a -9 at 5v5 per 60 min. He is on the wrong side of the scoring differential at even-strength and does not even register a full chance per 2 min of PP time. Add in a woeful 39.8% faceoff win percentage, and we see why Boudreau went with HHBL21 at the pivot on Saturday night.
Not sure when we realize Brian Fahey may not be an NHLer. Boudreau has started him in the offensive zone 90% of the time, yet he still can’t keep the puck possession in the offensive zone: -1.5 Scoring Chance differential at evens and a negative 33.6 Corsi per 60 min of 5v5 ice time when adjusted for zone starts. That means a team full of Faheys would barely beat the Mites on Ice. It’s difficult to make me long for Tyler Sloan, but seeing Fahey rocking the red comes close.
Poor John Carlson. His rookie mistakes are magnified given all the hype, but his defense has not been that bad. He has full faith from Coach Bodreau, who continues to use him as a shutdown blueliner, he does a decent job on the PK, and he has only a slight negative in the scoring chance differential at 5v5. This is what future Norris Trophy winners are made of.
Know Boyd Gordon, know win. No Boyd Gordon, no win. The Caps are now 5-0 when Gordon is in the game. His contributions may not show up in the game recaps, but he continues to do “the little things” that help a team win: keep the scoring chances on the plus side, provide stability in the defensive zone and kill penalties. Perhaps a “Vote for Boyd” campaign is needed?
|Player||5v5 TOI||SC +/- Per 15min||PP TOI||PP SCF/2min||PK TOI||PK SCA/2min|