Crash the Net. Score Goals.

Mike Knuble pots a goal after crashing the net against Columbus

Kanoobs pots a rebound goal after crashing the net against Columbus. (Photo credit: Luis M. Alvarez)

Eight of the last nine Capitals goals have come from sixteen feet or nearer. It’s no secret that the closer you are to the net, the better the chance you have to score a goal. The Caps are “crashing the net,” but they are not getting as lucky as they were last year.

ShPerc by distance 2010 and 2011

Shots within 15 feet of the net

Year Shots Goals Shooting %
2010 243 60 24.7%
2011 279 48 17.2%

If we dig a little deeper we can see who is taking the shots near the net and who is capitalizing on them. This is just those shots taken within about 15 feet of the net over the last two years.

2010 2011
Player Sh% Shots Sh% Shots
Mike Knuble 48.0% 25 20.5% 39
Brooks Laich 18.4% 38 6.1% 33
Alexander Semin 25.0% 24 28.6% 28
Alex Ovechkin 12.5% 24 22.2% 27
Eric Fehr 33.3% 15 15.0% 20
Nicklas Backstrom 33.3% 27 10.0% 20
Jason Chimera 33.3% 6 11.8% 17
Matt Bradley 30.0% 10 14.3% 7
Mike Green 16.7% 6 28.6% 7

With the exception of the two Alexes, the entire team seems to be converting less than they did just a year ago.

Mike Knuble‘s early season slump appears to have been caused by just some bad luck. His shooting percentage (Sh%) is almost half of what it was last year at the same distance on more shots. Historically we have seen these type of shots convert at a 20-40% rate, depending on if it is during even strength or on with the man advantage.

Brooks Laich seems to be affected the most this season: his Sh% has dropped to a third of what it was last season. Any sort of progression towards the mean and we are looking at another 3-6 goals from Laich. Nicklas Backstrom is suffering from the same malady, certainly affecting his goal total as well.

This luck may be beginning to change. Take a look at the where the goals have come from these last two overtime wins:

last 2

If the team’s shooting percentage continues to rebound, the Caps could very well see some flashes of last year’s scoring in the playoffs.

  • JW90

    How the hell did we manage to let Andy Miele slip through our fingers? This was a kid I was really excited about…. and he leaves us to sign with Phoenix !?!? I dont get it…. Neil, plz explain!

  • CDizz

    ^That was relevant?

  • red army soldier #1337

    Sorry man.. but I doubt the monte carlo is quite up to figuring out the mind of a proto NHLer.

    Now on topic.
    I think ASCID will help laich along as well.

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