Saturday, November 12, 2011

Zone Entries: Devils 3, Capitals 2 (SO)

Much will be made about the Caps' low shot totals. Low shot totals almost always indicate that a team is hardly able to enter the offensive zone. That was most certainly not the case Saturday night, as the Capitals had 86 of 167 (51.5%), including 57 of 104 (54.8%) over the second and third periods, 44 of 76 (57.9%) at 5v5. Sure, you'd like more shots, but at the end of the day, you want to see your team doing what is going to win the most games in the long run, and I think the Capitals were playing a style that will win a lot of games in the long run.

Let's not forget that New Jersey is probably one of the best possession teams in the league (they were last season, and essentially added the league's second-best wing in Zach Parise) and are perfectly capable of dictating the pace of the game. On poor ice (there was a Georgetown game earlier in the day), the Caps dictated the game for long stretches (the second half of the third, for example) against a very good team.

When you have a lead, conventional wisdom says you want to slow the game down, and the Caps did that. When the score is tied, you attack, and the Caps did that. Maybe this is really selective memory on my part--I guess we'll know when we get a glimpse of scoring chance numbers--but if the Caps play like this against Nashville, they'll likely win.

I guess I just want to say that don't take that SOG total for what it's not. Here, it's not an accurate representation of possession here. No need to fret. Flukes happen.

Someone please teach Alex Ovechkin how to shoot past a defenseman again. Dan Girardi, Roman Hamrlik in Montreal, Mike Weaver, Rob Scuderi, Hal Gill, Anton Volchenkov, and Mark Fayne now joins the club. What was actually surprising is how often I was actually able to see Ovechkin get a chance off the rush...thank you Joel Ward.

I'm hoping Alexander Semin has a hand injury, because he's been pretty bad, not even able to make those clean saucer passes he's been able to execute with ease in the past, and the refs aren't giving him any sort of break, either. I don't care all that much about production in short samples as long as there's something the guy is doing right, but since about the third or fourth game of the season, he hasn't been doing much right.

At least Jason Chimera is doing his best to prove to me that he's actually a useful player outside of the fourth line.


  1. Ever tried to tabulate those zone entries with Vic Ferrari's scoring chances script? That would give you some ES/PP/PK breakdowns, no?

    I guess it would be possible to ask Vic to extend the script's capabilities to 200 entries or so (instead of the actual 100) so you can cram the whole game in one query.

  2. No, not yet. Pretty bogged down by work. Definitely will catch up over holidays coming up around the new year.