After a miserable eight-game losing streak, the Caps are finally starting to see some puck bounces go their way and are 5-0-1 in their last six. Good times ahead? We’ll see, but this is sure better than losing.
The scoring chances showed us this was just a matter of time. Remember, 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.
At even strength, the Caps put the scoring chances in their favor throughout the season, but when they failed to get the puck bounces to go their way it was a tough stretch of eight games. Once the bad luck started to even out, bringing their conversion percentage back to their season average, the Caps were able to right the ship:
|at Even Strength||Scoring Chance%||Convert%||Scoring chance Save%|
|Pre 8G Losing Streak||51.0%||19.1%||83.6%|
|8 Game Losing Streak||56.1%||6.4%||80.6%|
|Post 8G Losing Streak||55.7%||15.9%||90.0%|
Scoring chance % is the amount of chances-for out of total chances that go in Caps’ favor.
Convert % is goals scored off of scoring chances
Scoring chance save percentage is scoring chances against that did not turn into goals.
Virtually the same amount of chances are going in their favor (55.7% vs. 56.1%), but converting almost two and a half men more goals makes all the difference between winning five out of the last six or losing eight games in a row.
This week I decided to look at which skaters were making the plays on the scoring chances, meaning not just by being a passenger on the ice but actively creating the scoring chance – either by taking the shot or making the pass.
|Skater||5v5 TOI||5v5 SCF||%5v5Indiv||PP TOI||PP SCF||%PPIndiv|
SCF = scoring chances for
%5v5 Indiv/%PP Indiv are the percentage of chances at 5v5/PP that the skater was directly responsible for – either by taking the shot themselves or making the primary assist.
Looking at this table, it should be no surprise Eric Fehr finally broke through and tallied two goals during the Winter Classic. Over half the scoring chances he is on the ice for during even strength this season are of his own design, and it’s almost the same on the power play. Could this be the end of Uno Seis que sienta en el banco?
More and more, it seems that Mathieu Perreault could be here for the long term. Playing soft minutes is certainly helping, but half of hockey is taking advantage of opportunity and MP85 is making the most of his. With the way he has been playing with linemates Semin & Laich, I could see GMGM rolling the dice in the post season with that as the second line– and strangely I could be OK with it if other needs are addressed.
The boys from Hershey — Andrew Gordon and especially Jay Beagle — brought some good mojo and gritty offense in front of the net during these last six games. When Beagle was on the ice, the Caps got over half their 5v5 chances as a direct result of his play – Andrew Gordon, just 26%. Perhaps that’s why Beagle was given a Winter Classic sweater?
DangerousAga% are the percentage of shots against (Shots on goal, goals scored and missed shots) that originate from “dangerous” areas on the ice, which is roughly a pie shaped wedge starting from the goal, extending out through the faceoff dots to the top of the circles.
QoC is Behind the Net‘s Quality of Competition metric, and is the average +/- of opponents faced. The higher the number, the more those opponents have scored.
OffZ% is the percentage of time that skater starts in the offensive zone.
Carlzner were one of my keys to the Caps winning the Winter Classic and they haven’t disappointed all season. They play a huge amount of minutes against some of the stiffest competition (QoC) that Caps’ opponents have to offer and allow only a minimum amount of shots that aren’t blocked to come from dangerous scoring areas.
Scott Hannan seems to need a little more time to settle in defensively, but allowing almost 2/3 of shots directed at net to come from dangerous scoring areas is something that will need to be addressed sooner rather than later — otherwise we might as well have just switched Flash to a blueliner instead of trading him.
|Goalie||EV Scoring chance Save %||PK Scoring chance Save %||Overall Scoring chance Save %|
I’ll admit Semyon Varlamov has looked really good these past few games, but mark me down for #TeamNeuvy until we start to see a few more games of consistency between periods from Varly. Either way, the rumors of the Caps getting a veteran goalie at the deadline need to stop — these two young netminders are more than capable of performing when it counts.