Statistical analysis: Don't panic just yet
All NHL teams face adversity. Last year's Chicago Blackhawks had three three-game losing streaks. The Pittsburgh Penguins had a five-game slump and three more three-game skids in the year Crosby and Co. got to hang out with Lord Stanley. The Detroit Red Wings had a February to forget, losing 10 of 11 after an eight-game win streak during their championship season. The Anaheim Ducks dropped eight of 11 before the All-Star break, and the Carolina Hurricanes had two three-game losing streaks during their road to glory.
Even the Caps' win totals through the first five games of December are not too far off, having won 18 games while the past five Cup winners have won 18, 23, 22, 15 and 19 through the same time frame.
So what's the problem? The pucks just aren't bouncing the Caps' way. The scoring chances are there -- a scoring chance being a shot taken from a "dangerous" location (roughly equal to a pie-shaped wedge from the goalie to the top of the circles and inside the dots) -- but they just aren't turning into goals lately.
|Games||SCF||SCA||GF||GA||SCF per game||SCA per game||Convert for %||Convert against %|
|Rest of season||25||423||390||80||65||16.9||15.6||18.9%||16.7%|
Note: Not all goals are considered scoring chances, such as empty netters and penalty shots, which is why the goals for and against are lower than the Caps' totals for the season.
In the four losses, the Caps have generated more chances (SCF) per game than they have on average the rest of the season, but they're converting significantly less during the losing streak.
Opponents, on the other hand, are generating fewer chances (SCA) per game but are converting at a higher rate. This "finishing ability" evens out over the course of a season, so we should see the Caps we know and love on the ice sooner rather than later - without making a trade or firing the coach. After all, shinny happens, and when it happens in December it is no time for panic.
| December 11, 2010; 2:48 PM ET
Categories: Statistical analysis
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