FanPost

Is game four a must win for the Washington Capitals?

With a lackluster performance in game three some are starting to hit the panic button about Washington's chances to win the series. We are starting to see the misused overused adjective "must win" in greater frequency which can only mean one thing: don't panic.

If the Washington Capitals win Game 4, they increase they're chances of wining the series by 22.4%. If they lose, it only reduces their chances by 10% - far from a "must win." But there is no denying the games are getting more important. We can figure out the potential changes in win probability of winning a seven game (2-2-1-1-1) series for each team based on the outcome of a given game. Sorting by this average swing shows us which games have the most impact, and more importantly, which games are the "must wins" based on the record of the series.

<!--[if supportMisalignedColumns]-->
Game# Location Wins Losses Change
Game 7 Verizon Center 3 3 50.0%
Game 6 MSG 2 3 34.6%
Game 5 Verizon Center 2 2 28.6%
Game 4 MSG 1 2 23.1%
Game 3 MSG 1 1 21.0%
Game 2 Verizon Center 1 0 18.3%
Game 1 Verizon Center 0 0 17.2%
Game 4 MSG 2 1 16.2%
Game 6 MSG 3 2 15.5%
Game 2 Verizon Center 0 1 14.9%
Game 3 MSG 0 2 12.2%
Game 3 MSG 2 0 12.2%
Game 5 Verizon Center 3 1 10.7%
Game 5 Verizon Center 1 3 10.7%
Game 4 MSG 0 3 7.4%
Game 4 MSG 3 0 3.3%

 

Game four where the Caps are up 2-1 is pivotal, but not "must win." Check back with me during game five if the New York Rangers tie the series.

If this FanPost is written by someone other than one of the blog's editors, the opinions expressed in it do not necessarily reflect those of this blog or SB Nation.

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