|Statistics (Score Adjusted)||Rank|
|Corsi For (%)||6th|
|High Danger Scoring Chances For (%)||3rd|
|Scoring Chances For (%)||5th|
|Power Play Percentage||3rd|
|Penalty Kill Percentage||9th|
And, as J.P wrote about last week, these numbers are a good reason to be optimistic about the team's future chances.
So with all of that great stuff out of the way, let's quickly touch on how the team's been playing recently. Here is a visual look at the team's Score Adjusted Corsi-For (%):
As Pat Holden pointed out this weekend, the team has cooled off a bit recently, and that's reflected in the chart above.
The Caps have only had a SACF% below 50% seven times so far this season, but five of those seven have been in the last twelve games. That said, they have still been above 50% in terms of SACF(%) in almost every five-game segment of the season, which is pretty impressive, and have topped 55% eight times overall. So while the team is having a few more bad games now than they had earlier in the year, and those individual games are pushing the needle down a bit, they're still driving possession at a fairly regular rate.
Obviously we can't just ignore a few poor performances (because if we're going to throw out bad games then we'd have to throw out some good ones, too), but we can emphasize that the bad games are much rarer than the good... just not recently.
There's no obvious singular cause of the recent downturn in terms of lineup choices or roster decisions. Ideally this recent stretch is an anomaly rather than a reflection of the team's actual talent level. It's encouraging that even with the team's recent lackluster possession, Micah Blake McCurdy's point projections have the Capitals finishing with the second best record in the NHL.
The bottom line is that even with their recent issues, the Capitals have still been able to rack up the wins and the points - and are still able to maintain strong aggregate possession numbers. Good teams find ways to win even when they're not at their best, and the Caps are doing just that.