Six-Game Losing Streaks Are Rare


Photo credit: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Losing seven to nothing is bad, but when it extends your losing streak to six games you have to ask: is it time to panic yet?

Sure, there are plays where the blueliners make you want to rip your hair out, but the scoring chances are there — the lighting of the lamp isn’t. So how often should a team as good average as the Washington Capitals lose six games in a row?

Since we know how many goals-for the Caps generate per game this year (3.06), and how many they give up (2.88), we can use the Pythagorean formula to figure out how often they should win against an average team. In this case, they should beat an average team 53% of the time. Using a Monte Carlo simulator to simulate 10,000 82-game seasons we can see how often a 6-game losing skid should occur just by random chance alone. Keep in mind these streaks are the longest in any given 82-game simulated season, so when you see a 5-game streak, that was the longest streak in that given simulated season.

Longest losing streaks by simulated season

Longest losing streaks by simulated season

A team with the same goals-for and goals-against ratios like this year’s Capitals should experience a 6-game losing streak about once every 5 years. When you factor in the team is without their top defensive pair of Mike Green and Jeff Schultz and they are seeing some very, VERY bad luck lately, it still looks bad, but it is no time to panic. Yet.

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  • Em

    Atta boys. 🙂


    Picture caption: “Where’s Varly?”

  • BobbyG

    And let’s not drag this on to an UNlucky #7 in a row Wednesday night.

    The Peerless Prognosticator called this game “the perfect storm of suck” and I couldn’t agree more. This has to, absolutely has to be the rock bottom point for the Caps; there’s no way to go but up. Make it so.

  • DarkStranger44

    Great comment, Bobby! It certainly has been our nadir thus far this year. The point of inflection for the function of the team’s fortunes which has been a decreasing function at the moment.

  • Krissy

    Thanks for this. 😀

  • CDizz

    Hahahahahahaha love the background changes

  • barb

    yeah, the background change really made me laugh out loud this morning.

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