What Do All These Shutouts Mean For The Caps?

Alex Ovechkin

Photo credit: Rob Carr

Friday’s 6-0 drubbing by the Rangers was the ninth time the Capitals have been shutout this season. Washington is now well on their way to being shut out in double digit games for the first time since 1999. As you might expect, getting shutout is not a recipe for playoff success — if you’re fortunate enough to even make the playoffs.

We shouldn’t be surprised. After shutout number eight I began to reach for the panic button:

What is worrisome is the offense has, at best, a 7 percent chance on any given night to be shut out and its recent performance suggests it could be as high as 10-15 percent — which means another two or four shutouts on the horizon.

Want more gloomy news? Since the lockout, teams that have qualified after being shutout 10 or more times have not made it past the first round.

shutouts v playoff success

x-axis is regular season shutouts, y-axis is playoff wins

Small sample size aside, the outlook is bleak. With just 48 hours remaining until the trade deadline can this be fixed in time?

  • deann

    I love Neil Greenberg. That is all.

  • Peteo

    Teams that consistently get shut out don’t win the Cup. Teams that go through 8-game losing streaks don’t win the Cup. Although if you’re going to put a lot of stock in that, you would have thought that a 14-game winning streak from last year would have resulted in a lot more than a 1st round exit. So pick what you want to believe in, I guess.

  • So you’re saying we shouldn’t expect another 7 game series. I guess that’s an improvement, right?

  • BobbyG

    What all these shutouts mean to me is there is a very real possibility that come April, a huge dark grey cloud of doom and gloom could descend over DC and all geographic locations where Caps fans reside.

    Now maybe someone can telll me what this means. I saw on OFB (confirmed on Caps official website) the team claimed LW Marco Sturm off waivers from the LA Kings. OFB also says the Caps waived DJ King, but the Caps website doesn’t mention this, he’s still listed on the roster.

  • J.P.

    I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I believe a major shake-up needs to occur to change the dynamics of the sputtering offense. Scouts for the Dallas Stars were supposedly in attendance last night, so something seems to be afoot. Brad Richards ahoy?
    And yeah, Marco Sturm is now a Cap and DJ King was indeed waived. From Pierre LeBrun: http://www.tweetdeck.com/twitter/Real_ESPNLeBrun/~QTG9H

  • BobbyG

    @J.P.: I’m really not too enthusiastic about the Caps possibly acquiring Brad (concussion) Richards in a trade. This type of move smacks of extreme desperation IMO, and could backfire with enormous repercussions if he’s not 100% healthy. Is this the sort of risk the Caps are willing to take? And if they are, who are they willing to give up to get him? I suppose we’ll find out soon enough.

  • WB

    BobbyG: Brad Richards would be a second line center, something we need. He has the same number of goals and assists as Ovechkin. I think losing 6 to 0 means a desperate move may be needed, I think the Caps could use him. I don’t know who we would give up though.

    Lets go Caps!

  • Depends on whether you think having Richards and the extra playoff series wins he’ll bring this year–if any–offset losing about 7 cost-controlled, RFA years of our only stud forward prospect in Kuznetsov

  • BobbyG

    Yes, maybe it is a desperation move. Richards has huge health issues as a downside, but 2C is the biggest hole the Caps need to fill. Aaargh, I don’t know what the right decision is here. I want the Caps to win, but I’m worried about Richards’ durability. GM McPhee might decide to roll the dice and let the chips fall where they may. IMO it’s a gamble, but maybe the Caps have no other alternative if they want to go deep in the playoffs.