Sunday, May 7, 2017

Statisfaction: Caps Dominating Fancy Stats but Holtby Hurts

Welcome to Statisfaction, your daily dose of NHL-related numbers and factoids. Today we'll begin with the Washington Capitals statistical domination of the Pens.

1. Washington Dominating Possession, but on the Brink

So, the Caps are seemingly in control of the puck, the shot attempts and the run of play against the Penguins, but they are still on the brink of elimination and barely survived Game 5 on the strength of a three-goal outburst vs. the Penguins at Verizon Center on Saturday. Could it mark the beginning of a turn of fortune for the Caps? Many waited for that same thing to happen for the Minnesota Wild against the Blues in the first round, but it never did. We don't know how it will play out, but we do find these numbers interesting.

At 5-on-5 Washington has a 63.4 CF% and a 60.44 FF% in the five games of this series. They also have managed to own 64.71% of the scoring chances in the series, per Natural Stat Trick. And yet, they have only scored 10 goals to 9 for Pittsburgh at 5-on-5. Is it because Pittsburgh is so good at countering and scoring on the rush? The Penguins have a 10.46 shooting percentage while the Capitals have a 7.46.

2. Braden Holtby not really cutting the mustard for Caps

Holtby had a great third period for Washington on Saturday night, but prior to that he has really struggled in net in this series. He has put up a .901 save percentage in the series, which is far below his career playoff lifetime save percentage of .932.

Here are Holtby's playoff stats from this year compared to his lifetime playoff stats.

3. Predators D Playing a Part

Nashville's defensemen have points in 14 of the team's last 16 goals. The Preds will look to book their first trip to a Conference Final on Sunday vs. St. Louis. One thing to note: Ryan Ellis and Roman Josi have struggled as a pair against the Blues.

The below table shows how much Josi and Ellis have struggled in several key categories in this series:

4. Pens Blow a Late Lead

The Penguins were 43-1-1 in games that they held a lead after two periods heading into Saturday night. But the Capitals broke through with three goals to stay alive. Will it prove to be a turning point?

5. Crosby Leads Playoffs in 5-on-5 Points per 60

And next on the list is Tanner Glass! Also interesting to note how effective Colton Sissons has been for Nashville.

Below are the top five playoff performers in terms of points per 60 mins, via Corsica: