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The Noon Number: Not So Special

A look at a problem you knew the Caps had and one that you maybe didn’t realize

Washignton Captials v Boston Bruins Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images

78.4 - Caps’ combined net special teams percentage since November 30, worst in the NHL.

So what is “combined net special teams percentage” anyway?

The “combined” is power play plus penalty kill. And the “net” percentages factor in both power play and shorthanded goals. In the Caps’ case, they’ve gone 5-for-51 on the power play over that span and have allowed three shorthanded goals, so their net power play percentage is 3.9 (2-for-51). At the other end of the ice, they’ve only killed 37 of 51 penalties, but have scored a shorty of their own, so that works out to 74.5 percent (38-for-51). Put ‘em together and you get 78.4.

As a point of reference, over the same stretch, Carolina has the circuit’s highest combined net special teams percentage at an eye-popping 130.7 (their penalty kill has gone 49-for-52 with a pair of shorties, while their power play has gone 15-for-43 and allowed a goal). In fact, four of the top six spots in the League belong to Metro Division teams. Here’s how it looks overall:

data via NHL.com