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Caps finally get back to .500

The Capitals opened their existence with a two-game road trip. They came home with an 0-2 record, having been outscored 12-3. By mid-November of 1974, the Caps were 1-15-2.

That was a big hole to dig out of. It took the Caps more than 35 25 years, by they finally made it back to .500. Tuesday's win, according to the Caps media relations folks, ran Washington's all-time regular-season record to 1214-1214-303-71. That looks like .500 to me. There's your incentive for Friday night against Atlanta.

How does this compare to the other pro franchises in D.C.? Glad you asked. I'm talking regular season only, and I'm only counting time in the D.C. area. So the Baltimore Bullets counts, but the Chicago Packers and Boston Redskins and Montreal Expos does not.

D.C. United 197-162-71, .541
Redskins 517-478-22, .519
Caps 1214-1214-303-71, .500
Bullets/Wizards 1756-2055, .461
Nats 343-468, .423

(Yes, I'm counting shootout and overtime losses as ties. This is regular season only.)

As a group, that makes 4027-4377-396-71. I'll call that a joint winning percentage of .480. That's a lot closer to average than I would have guessed.

And yes, that took too long to figure out.

By Dan Steinberg  |  April 8, 2010; 12:49 PM ET
Categories:  Caps , D.C. United , Nats , Redskins , Wizards  
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Comments

Dan, I think you have to take that 1st hyphen out of the last paragraph. That being said, hooray for .500 Caps!

Posted by: hockeypunk | April 8, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Shoot-out and overtime loses are loses, the United and the Caps winning percentages should be adjusted down.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | April 8, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

PowerBoater69.

The Caps are .500 even counting OT losses.
.500 means they have .500 x the total number of points possible, which they do.

.500 doesn't mean even numbers of wins and losses in hockey.

I agree with your overall point, however, and it gives us something to look forward to (again) in 2011.

Posted by: bflorhodes | April 8, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

"40-27-4377-396-71"

Huh?

Posted by: Langway4Eva | April 8, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

4 8 15 16 23 42

Posted by: 4-12 | April 8, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

The numbers are bad! The numbers are bad! The numbers are bad!

Also, isn't it more like 35+ years, not 25+ years?

Posted by: EdTheRed | April 8, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Please stop ignoring the O's. To those of us who didn't grow up with the Nats and prefer to stick with the team that defined baseball for the 95% of our lives, the O's still are our local team.

Posted by: jtheisman | April 8, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Dan, you're comparing apples, cucumbers and refrigerators... MLB, NFL and NBA don't use points to determine standings like the NHL and MLS.

The Caps' percentage you give is the "points percentage", while the Nats' and Wiz/Bullets' are their winning percentages. People have been brainwashed by Bettman to not acknowledge that the fourth column is also losses, so the Caps' corrected record is 1214-1285-303, a .433 winning percentage.

The "point percentage" is just another crutch for the "at least we got a point!" clowns to lean on when trying to rationalize the loser point that only shows up for overtime.

I'd love... love... LOVE for you to ask someone in power with the NHL how they account for starting a season with 2460 standings points available, yet when all is said and done, over 2700 standings points will have been awarded this season. There's been 285 OTL points created so far this season- where do they come from, and how are they accounted for when total points to start the season does not equal total points awarded at the end of the NHL season?

Also, the .519 you give for the Redskins doesn't take into account the ties. The correct winning percentage for the Skins would be .508 (517 wins in 1017 games).

Posted by: TheStein71 | April 8, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

stein71,
re the NHL. teams are ranked based upon points, not wins. so it's entirely appropriate to use % of total points to rank their percentage. by that measure, the caps have taken exactly 50% of the available points in their history.

as for the standings points, who ever said that the season starts with 2460 standings points available? clearly the way OT losses are calculated, each game could mean 3 standings points not 2. not sure what you mean by "where did they come from". that is all part of the leagues rules. these aren't some mysterious bonus points that certain teams get for no apparant reason.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | April 8, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I wonder how DC ranks vs Philly? Stein...you got it in you?!!?

Posted by: HogsHaven | April 8, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

How can you count overtime wins as wins but overtime losses as ties?

Posted by: Tank2 | April 8, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Very cool. As a long time Caps fan this does have some meaning to me. Many Many years of enduring sub par teams and disappointment. It is nice to think that is all behind us now!

Posted by: 08Obama08 | April 8, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

I agree with jtheisman. I'd like to see some O's on The Bog.

Posted by: MillBurray | April 8, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

dcsportsfan1: How do you logically explain that some games end with two awarded, and some end with three? How many points do games start with? If it's two, then the third point doesn't exist until it's created to give to a loser in OT. If it's three, then what happens to that third point if the game ends in regulation? You can't have it both ways and just say, "some games are worth two, and some are worth three".

Just for math simplicity, say 15 teams go undefeated, the other 15 lose every game. 15 x 82 games x 2 points = 2460. If every game ends in regulation, that's how many standings points are distributed at the end of the season. 2460 = 2460. But let's pretend no remaining games go to OT this season, there will be 2745 standings points distributed after the final horn. 2745 does not equal 2460. And if you're of the belief that every game is worth three points, 2745 does not equal 3690 either. It's basic accounting- the numbers at the start HAVE to match the numbers at the end, or something is screwed up in between.

If it wasn't for their 14 loser points, Detroit wouldn't even be in the picture, let alone in 5th place in the West. But thanks to Bettman math, they're currently seeded ahead of three teams with more wins. That's completely illogical and should be shining a bright light on a glaring flaw with the current NHL standings system.

Detroit's points percentage this year is .612 (98 of a possible 160), yet their winning percentage is .525 (42 wins in 80 games).

Just another reason "points percentage" is a meaningless stat.

Posted by: TheStein71 | April 8, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Orioles >> Nationals

Posted by: JohnnyBlades | April 8, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Great job Dan! I keep track of these standings (including the Baltimore teams). I start in 1996, when DC United was formed and the Ravens moved to Baltimore.

http://www.stormingthecrease.com/p/state-of-local-sports.html

Enjoy!

Posted by: pizzagoal | April 8, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

TheStein71, I am with you on the ridiculous third point that magically appears from thin air for overtime NHL games. If they wanted to do something that made sense, they could say all games are worth 3 points, have the regulation winner pick up all 3, then go with the 2/1 split for overtime games. Sure, it would muck up comparisons between seasons under the different point systems, but they're kind of doing that already with the overtime losses, they're just not admitting it.

Posted by: bucky_katt | April 8, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

bflorhodes, under your definition, only 7 teams out of 30 are under "500" for this NHL season, (namely being under 82 points, 50% of the "available" points).

the reason for this is because the NHL no longer just gives out 2 points per game, but will give 3 points out if a game goes to overtime, hence why overtime loses (in the new system at least) should count as pure loses for the terms of figuring out a 500 record.

Posted by: spotter | April 11, 2010 5:33 AM | Report abuse

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