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The Noon Number: Primary Defenders

A look at the Caps' trio of puck-moving rearguards

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

3 - Number of Capitals defensemen among the League's top-10 blueliners in primary assist rate at five-on-five (minimum 400 minutes): John Carlson, Mike Green and Matt Niskanen.

Carlson leads NHL rearguards in five-a-side primary helpers with 12, and Niskanen is just one behind (Green has eight). Take away a man from each side and the Caps have three of the top-six in four-on-four helpers (raw and rate) - Green, Niskanen and... Brooks Orpik? And each member of that original trio appears in the top-13 at five-on-four (thanks, Alex).

On the season, Green has 21 primary assists (eight at 5v5, two at 4v4, ten at 5v4 and one at 5v3), Carlson 19 (12 at 5v5, two at 4v4, five at 5v4) and Niskanen 16 (11 at 5v5, two at 4v4, three at 5v4). Each of the three is among the League's top-15 defensemen in primary assists overall.

"Low-to-high, get pucks through, that's how we score."

(h/t Puckalytics on the data)