Ryan Stimson's latest article, Tactalytics: Defending the Pass, focuses on evaluating defensive play through the use of passing metrics. In 2015-16, the Capitals ranked 14th in the League inshot attempts allowed per sixty minutes of five-on-five play (CA/60), but were sixth in terms five-on-five goals against per sixty (GA/60). Is Braden Holtby the primary reason for that discrepancy, or is there something else going on?
Stimson's article shows a high correlation between a team's ability to prevent "pass assists" (when a pass is made prior to a shot attempt, it's called a pass assist, and just like how there are goals that don't have assists there are shot attempts that don't have a shot assist) and future goals-against. For their part, the Capitals were the third best team in the League in Shot Assists Against per sixty minutes of five-on-five play (SAA/60) per the available data (collected by Stimson's team of heroic game trackers). So does this - and not Holtby - explain the difference between the team's CA/60 and GA/60? Will the Capitals be able to keep this up going into next season? Do the Capitals sacrifice offense to have a stalwart defense? How does this tie to play in the neutral zone? Adam Stringham and Ryan Stimson do their best to answer those questions and more in this episode of Japers' Rink Radio.
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