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The Noon Number: Drawing a Blank

A look at troubles in the dot for the Caps

Washington Capitals v Philadelphia Flyers Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images

27% - The Capitals’ faceoff win percentage in Saturday night’s loss to the Flyers, their worst performance since 1997-98 (aka when NHL.com began tracking said stat). The Caps won just 17 of 63 faceoffs, including four of 25 in the offensive zone and none of their five power-play draws.

Saturday night marked the second time this season the Caps have dipped below 30% this season, having fared only slightly better in their January matchup against these same Flyers with a 29.4% success rate (15-for-51). In fact, they’ve consistently struggled to win faceoffs against Philadelphia over the past two seasons, with four of their seven worst win percentages in the last 20+ years happening against Philly since the start of the 2018-19 season.

Many hockey analysts agree that the importance of faceoff wins is frequently overstated, and often not directly correlated to wins, so take that with a grain of salt. Still, given where the two teams are in the standings, and what this could mean for potential postseason clashes, it could be a very real issue this spring.