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The Noon Number: Drawing a Blank

A look at a dearth of chances with the extra man

Boston Bruins v Washington Capitals Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

2.53 - Penalties drawn per 60 minutes by the Capitals so far this season, the lowest in the NHL so far. The Caps are averaging 2.6 penalties drawn per game, tied with Anaheim for the worst per-game rate overall, and have drawn just 26 total - only Florida (22) has drawn fewer this season, and they’ve played roughly half as many games.

Add in the fact that some of those penalties drawn are actually half of a set of matching minors, and the Caps have had just 22 power play opportunities through 10 games. Again, only Florida has fewer total opportunities (and again, in just six games).

So while it’s great that the Caps’ power play is connecting at an almost absurdly high rate of just over 40%, the small sample size is resulting in not much of a boost. In fact, they’re operating at just 0.9 power play goals per game, which is middle-of-the-pack when compared to the rest of the league.

Of their ten games so far, the Caps have only had more than three power plays in two of them (four opportunities against the Pens on 1/17 and again on Monday vs. the Bruins). On the flip side, they’ve had less than two on three separate occasions.