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Examining the Washington Capitals numbers

Friday, 09.14.2007 / 10:00 AM / Season Preview

By John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist


 

NHL.com's 2007-08 Capitals Season Preview Package:
Intro | Goalies | Defense | Forwards| Feature | Numbers | Sked | Roster



Advantage Margin:
-6
The Caps had 16 more power-play chances at home, and their 221 opportunities were seventh in the NHL. But they were minus-22 on the road, mostly because they had only 187 power-play chances away from home, compared with 221 at the Verizon Center.

Even-Strength Goals Margin: -24
Alexander Ovechkin had 30 of his 46 goals at even strength, tying for second in the league, and had 55 even-strength points, but was minus-19. The Caps’ three 30-goal scorers, Ovechkin, Alexander Semin (38) and Chris Clark (30), were a combined minus-36.

Special Teams Goal Margin: -17
Semin (17) and Ovechkin (16) had nearly half of the Caps’ 67 power-play goals. The Caps desperately need a power-play quarterback — as well as improved penalty-killing after allowing 82 PPGs

Category Rank
(Conference / NHL)
2006-07 Points 70
(14th West / 27thNHL)
Change From 2005-06 0
Home Points 41
(13th East / 23rd NHL)
Road Points 29
(15th East / 28th NHL)

Goals by defensemen: 30
The Caps got little offense from their defense. Adding Tom Poti (6-38-44 with the Islanders) should bring some veteran leadership and puck movement. The Caps could use a bomber from the point.

Goals by forwards: 204
Ovechkin had 46 goals without a top-line center to feed him. The Caps hope they’ve remedied that by adding free-agent Michael Nylander (57 assists with the Rangers) and 2006 first-rounder Nicklas Backstrom, plus Viktor Kozlov, a 25-goal scorer with the Islanders who’s also a shootout ace. More is needed from the third and fourth lines.

Overtime Record: 5-3-11 (OT: 4-3, SO: 1-11)
For whatever reason, the Caps were dreadful in shootouts, losing a league-high 11. Ovechkin, a shootout sharpshooter in 2005-06, scored just twice in 12 tries and Semin was only 2-for-10. On the other side, Washington goalies had only a .550 save percentage.

Times Scored First/Record: 37 (Record: 21-8-8)
The Caps weren’t great when they scored first (.568, 26th in the league). But they really struggled when the opposition got the first goal, winning just seven times, tied for the fewest in the league. Their .156 winning percentage in those games was 29th.

Best 06-07 Number: 98
Goals by Ovechkin in his first two NHL seasons. No active player scored that many goals in his first two seasons. In comparison, Wayne Gretzky, playing in a much more offensive era and with more offensive help, had 106 goals in his first two seasons — just eight more than Ovechkin.

Worst 06-07 Number: 24
One-goal losses by the Capitals, tied with three other teams for the most in the NHL. But the Caps’ 9-24 record in one-goal contests was by far the worst of the four teams. The Caps were just 3-12 away from home in one-goal games.

Scheduling:
The Caps begin the season with four of five on the road, then play eight of 10 away from the Verizon Center from Oct. 27 to Nov. 16. Washington also plays its last six games in March on the road before finishing with three games at home.

NHL.com's 2007-08 Capitals Season Preview Package:
Intro | Goalies | Defense | Forwards| Feature | Numbers | Sked | Roster

 

 

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