numbers for the next morning
The Washington Capitals, who play with what appears to be about a quarter of their regular roster, lost 3-2 to the Los Angeles Kings at home.
It was a completely avoidable loss, even given the circumstances. Let’s talk about why, but I have a feeling you already know why.
- From a pure five-on-five perspective, the Capitals dominated the puck in this game. They outshot LA 45-32, drew them 26-17 and beat them 21-12. The problem, which is probably obvious, is that they just didn’t create enough slam dunk. odds and that’s exactly what happens when you miss Evgeny Kuznetsov, Nicklas Backstrom, TJ Oshie, Tom Wilson and Anthony Mantha all at the same time. The Caps had a ton of pucks, but only created four five-on-five high danger chances in the game. You can’t miss almost two whole top six lines and be out of it forever.
- Even with that said, this game was lost on the power play. A big ole 0 for 6 with a human advantage that really felt more like a negative one for six considering the shorthanded goal allowed. Blaine Forsythe has the same built-in excuse I gave above for the lack of creativity, but it’s a power play that clearly went haywire long before these guys came out of training. The Caps now have the fifth-worst power play in the league and it’s obviously going in the wrong direction and has been for what feels like two or three years. It’s time for a new set of eyes, but it just feels like a muted drumbeat at this point.
- Alex Ovechkin led the Caps in ice time, playing nearly halfway through the game at 27:24. His 16 shot attempts in the game are tied for the most he’s shot in a game this season. He only had three individual scoring chances in total and no individual high danger chances. The Kings have done a good job on him defensively and the Caps just don’t have the center to partner with him right now to set him up for much better.
Joe Snively became the first player from Virginia State to play for the Washington Capitals tonight.
— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) December 20, 2021
- Joe Snively scored his first NHL point on his debut. He played just under seven minutes as his line suffered from the special teams’ excess time in the game.
- Talking about that, Connor McMichael played the least of the team at 6:18. In those rare minutes, he was still able to score a goal, shoot three shots on net which was the most of any Caps forward not named Ovechkin, record three individual scoring chances which were tied for the lead among forwards and to record two individual bests. chance of danger who was also tied for the lead among forwards. I think the way McMichael has been treated lately in terms of ice time is a joke. With how many offensive plays have come out right now, his role should be the biggest he’s ever been, not the smallest. It starts to feel like a coach is going after a player who he “thinks” isn’t doing enough for him defensively when in reality the player is actually one of his best at stepping up the pace offensively (Jakub Vrana, Andre Burakovsky). Your power play sucks completely and you have a player who seemingly creates chances every time he’s on the ice, five-on-five sitting on the bench while guys like Garnet Hathaway, Michael Sgarbossa and literal defenders playing towards forward have better luck with a taller man than McMichael. It’s borderline self-sabotaging at this point, in my honest opinion. I guess it’s a ‘win it’ (he scored a goal in the first 10 minutes of the game by the way) or ‘teach a lesson’ kind of coaching stuff, but it’s also 2021 and we should be better than that and knowing that shit is relatively useless. The dude led his team, including Hershey last season, scoring everywhere he went. Come the bomb f. End of the rant.
- You know what, I’ll stay on that for a second. Do you know who leads the Caps this season in shots per 60 minutes at five-on-five? Connor McMichael. Individual objectives expected by 60? Mc Michael. Individual scoring chances per 60? Same guy. High individual risk of danger by 60? You get the point. The argument will be, “Well, why doesn’t he score more then?” The answer is stupid and stupid puck luck. He scored at all levels and his shooting is one of his main strengths, as you saw in this game. If he plays more, he will score more. Especially, maybe if he gets over 0.00 seconds of power-play time and a fucking rebound or two in his favor.
Numbers thanks to Hockey-reference.com and NaturalStatTrick.com.