Comparing Caps GF/G & GA/G against the tens

A fascinating article ran in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, showing how the Penguins fare against top-10, middle-10, and bottom-10 teams. The results, while perhaps not surprising, were still very interesting. Which got me wondering, what are the Caps' "splits" against the top-1, middle-10, and bottom-10?

To start with, the Caps GF/G is 3.83 and GA/G is 2.79. They're tops in the NHL in goals for, and a respectable middle-of-the-pack 17th in goals against. Their points percentage is .727

My kinda-messy spreadsheet is here. Please feel free to give constructive criticism to make it better. I'm going to keep updating it through the rest of the season, so bookmark the link! ;)

A note on how the teams are divided: I took's list of teams, ranked by points, as of 3/29. It has the potential to fluctuate slightly, like Detriot might fall out of the top 10, or Atlanta could claw their way into the middle 10.

So, what's the summary?

Against top-10 teams (well, top-9....)

  • The Caps have a better points percentage than their season average, with .737
  • They are averaging 3.11 goals for and 2.68 goals against. A significant drop from the season average in GF, while slightly lower in the GA department.
  • Against this top-level competition, the Caps grind out a lot of wins by narrow margins or low-scoring affairs. There are only three teams the Caps are averaging more then 4 g/g: Phoenix and Chicago, which they only played once each, and Pittsburgh. Against the Penguins, that Caps are averaging 5 goals per game.

Against Middle-10

  • This is the segment of teams that Caps have the most trouble with, posting "only" a .684 win percentage. Six of the teams in this groups that Caps played only once because they are Western teams.
  • Regardless of who the teams are, the Caps are posting an impressive 4.16 goals per game. Less impressive? That 3.05 goals against.
  • This is the group that the Caps also have the most Overtime Losses against.

Against the Bottom-10 (or, where the remainder of the SE division resides)

  • It should be little surprise that the Caps post their best goals per game against this competition, with 4.23. The Caps are averaging 5 or more goals against three of these teams: Atlanta, New York Islanders, and Florida.
  • Also of little surprise: the Caps show a remarkable tendency to let up against lower level teams. The goals against here is 2.91. Yep, higher than the season average. Yep, higher than against the top-flight competition. Go figure. That's the Caps for you.
  • Despite that, the Capitals are winning .800 of the points available from those teams.

Other assorted odds and ends:

  • Only two teams are posting a 5.00 g/a: Columbus and Calgary.
  • The following teams haven't cracked 2 goals per game against the Caps: Buffalo, Colorado, Boston, Anaheim, Minnesota.
  • Because all of the Caps division competition is in the bottoms-10, the Caps have played nearly half their games against these teams.

Feel free to give suggestions or request a piece of information, I'll see if I can track it down!

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