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The Noon Number: Running Up the Score

A look at some big numbers being put up on the scoreboard

NHL: Washington Capitals at Chicago Blackhawks Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

7 - Number of times in which the Capitals have given up at least six goals in a game this season, including Sunday’s 8-5 loss in Chicago. That already puts them even with last year’s total for the entire season, and is the most since 2006-07 when they gave up at least six goals eight times (plus one shootout “goal”). They’re also well on their way to beating their total from 2005-06 (12), which had been the most since all the way back in 1993-94 (14).

Interestingly (and perhaps more frustratingly), almost half of these games have been relatively close - at least on the final scoresheet, as the Caps have put up at least five goals three times this year when also giving up six or more. The last time they had as many as three such games in a full season was 2009-10, when they played to 6-5 losses three times (including in back-to-back games). Prior to that, you have to go all the way back to 1992-93 when it happened four times.

All that having been said, it is worth noting that the Caps giving up more goals coincides with an overall rise in goals per game around the League - which is not to say we should ignore the deficiencies in their game, of course, but does provide a bit of important context.

For example, 11 other teams besides the Caps have already given up at least six goals six or more times this season; last year only 17 teams hit that total for the whole season. It’s no wonder that the average goals-per-game rate is currently sitting at around 3.06 - taken over the course of a full season, that would be the highest rate since teams were averaging 3.08 goals per game way back in 2005-06 (and just the second time it’s cracked 3.00 over that span overall).