Capitals Wings and Getting to the Net

Rick Stewart

A look at which Caps wings are shooting and from where at even strength

Let's play a game.

Below (via Sporting Charts' Ice Track tool) are heat maps of the even-strength shot attempts for the wings on the Caps' top three lines through Thursday. Your task: match the wings (Troy Brouwer, Jason Chimera, Eric Fehr, Marcus Johansson, Alex Ovechkin and Joel Ward) to their heat map.


Alright, because of the shot volume, Ovechkin is a gimme. He's also got the highest average shot distance, due in large part to the fact that he's willing to shoot from anywhere within a three-block radius of the arena.

But beyond Ovechkin, what do you think? Interestingly, it looks like a lot of shots coming from the right side... and three of these guys are left wings. One of these remaining five has a significantly closer average shot than the others, so that must be Brouwer. Or maybe Ward.

Guess again.





It can't be. It is. Marcus Johansson is B (Chimera is A, Brouwer is C, Ward is E and Fehr is F). Amazingly, Johansson had an average shot distance under 24 feet and yet had just one goal on 46 shots (2.2%). That's what's called unsustainable - through Friday night, players with an average five-on-five shot distance of 25 feet or closer had scored on 159 of their 1,352 shots, a cool 11.8%. Johansson's own five-on-five shooting percentage entering this season was 13.6%.

Anyway, the point here is that for all the talk of the Caps needing net presence and bodies in front (and, to be sure, that includes a lot more than just individuals' respective shot locations), Johansson is taking shots from closer and in higher-traffic areas than his similarly situated teammates (we've certainly seen that on the power play as well). Granted, Johansson might be eschewing quantity for ... dare I say... quality - his shot rate is still rather low - but either way, he's bound to start scoring more sooner rather than later.

One final note - shot locations here are notoriously iffy, but we're comfortable with the overall gist of this data... we think.

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Japers' Rink

You must be a member of Japers' Rink to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Japers' Rink. You should read them.

Join Japers' Rink

You must be a member of Japers' Rink to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Japers' Rink. You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.