Sunday, November 21, 2010

Last Five in Fenwick: Games 17-21

I put up a new format in the tables, sorting by C/W/D (I have Beagle at W right now). I listed the team stats next to the centers. I posted the tables as images. Click for a bigger picture, but make sure you open in a new tab, or else you'll navigate away.

Here's a link to view the spreadsheet, and here's one to download it. If you use the data I've compiled (thanks to Vic Ferrari's Timeonice) please assign credit appropriately.

Game 20234 Capitals 2 @ Sabres 3 (OT)
Game 20245 Thrashers 4 @ Capitals 6
Game 20260 Sabres 2 @ Capitals 4
Game 20277 Capitals 0 @ Thrashers 5
Game 20287 Flyers 5 @ Capitals 4 (SO)

All the centers had pretty good last five games. Fleischmann in particular was helped by a monster game against Philadelphia, in which he had 10 positive Fenwick events and only 1 negative event. Umm, yeah, that's kind of good. The Capitals as a team had a very solid week at 5-on-5, even notwithstanding the disappointment in the 2nd-to-last column of the next chart.

The Fenwick% numbers pretty much tell the whole story here. That'll do, all you not named Knuble and Ovechkin. Knuble in my mind gets a pass because he's a complementary player, not a Corsi-driver. But AO is the latter and was brutal, especially in the second Buffalo game in which he was a minus ten Fenwick and Corsi. Minus ten. I'll do a closer look at AO's struggles soon if he doesn't pick up his game in the next week or so.

Mike Green-Jeff Schultz is a kickass pairing, and Carlzner is pretty good too. Sloskine did pretty decently as well, as every Caps pairing finished above 50% Fenwick and only Sloan was below 50% Corsi. With Tom Poti back in the lineup, the Caps' D corps will be even better. They're certainly helping the cause--the goaltending wasn't as good as it was before behind them, that's all.

Now, season-to-date, excluding the Carolina shutout (QoC, QoT, Zonestart, PDO, and Corsi Rel numbers from Behind the Net):

Boyd Gordon has the hardest zone start on the team and still is a positive Corsi%. Wow. Looks like aside from Hendricks the Caps are doing decently down the middle. There's no outstanding Corsi player here to back up Backstrom, though, as all but Perreault are negative Corsi Rels. Without a second line center acquired via trade or some ridiculously quick development by Marcus Johansson, the Capitals will rely heavily on Backstrom to carry the load offensively. Maybe it's best to split up Backstrom and Ovechkin, in that case. Ovechkin-Laich-Knuble and Semin-Backstrom-Fehr should be a well-balanced top-6, assuming Ovechkin finds his game. Any day now...

Laich and Semin so far have been great offensively, and King is pretty much worthless. We hardly knew ye, Stefan Della Rovere...on another note, low PDOs for Fehr and Chimera suggest they'll "get hot" sometime in the near future. Perhaps they have already started over the last couple of games.

Did I mention Green-Schultz and Carlzner are really, really good? Throw in Poti and a defenseman better than Erskine and we could have three different ~54% pairings. That's Stanley-Cup caliber.


Goaltending: D-

When I looked at the save percentage to date (when calculating team PDO) I got one just below 90%. That simply won't do. As won't 23 goals against in 5 games. While my instinct is to give an F here, this isn't weak goal after weak goal like Maple Leafs and Oilers fans are accustomed to.

Special Teams: B

The power play went 0-2, 1-3 (SHGA), 1-2, 0-3, and 3-7, total 29.4% with a shorty against. Pretty solid, and came up clutch against Philadelphia when the Flyers' even strength defense was sucking the life out of the game like a Dementor (alas, I have not seen Harry Potter 7 yet).

The penalty kill went 4-5, 1-2, 3-4, 2-2, and 8-9, total 81.8%. Back to mediocre? Hopefully not. I think the PK's cold stretch is over. They were much better over the last two games, limiting shots instead of relying on a high save percentage by Michal Neuvirth.

I'd have given a higher grade if the Caps had a better penalty differential. As they take nearly the most minors in the NHL, the penalty kill needs to better. I'd rather have a great PK and a lousy PP than the other way around, the way the Capitals take and draw minors.

Even strength play: B+

Lousy in Atlanta, but they didn't get the score effects bump there. Instead, they battled through and got good results in all the other games. 54% is getting close to 08-09 level.

Overall: B

It wasn't too pretty, but 6 points in 5 games is a 98 point pace. That's decent, and the underlying numbers say the Capitals probably deserved another point or two. If they get better goaltending, they'll be really clicking. Well, that and better play from Alex Ovechkin.

No comments:

Post a Comment