Live by the Power Play, Die by the Power Play
At the conclusion of the month of October, the Washington Capitals have earned a measly record of 5-7-0. Through these 12 games played by the Caps so far this season, the team has shown glimpses of brilliance, but have also showed signs of total disaster.
The Noon Number today on Japer’s Rink revealed to all those who dared to read it that through the first 60 games of both Dale Hunter’s and Adam Oates’s coaching career with the Capitals, both coaches collected 67 points in the NHL standings. This stark reality might lead some to feel hopeless about where the Caps stand today with Oates behind the bench versus two seasons ago when Hunter did his whatever he did as the Caps bench boss, but the folks at Japer’s provided a bit more insight to show that it’s not all same old same old, providing a quote from one of their posts from last week:
“[…] despite Dale Hunter giving Jay Beagle more ice time than Alex Ovechkin at times, and despite Adam Oates guiding Alex Ovechkin back to Rocket Richard level acclaim, it’s the success of Oates’s power play that has separated him from his predecessor, overall. In fact, by the numbers, it is just about the only thing that has separated him to this point… apart from a considerable advantage in the realm of dapper wardrobe selection.”
Ah yes, this brings us to what we want to talk about today, the power play.
The investigation and insight provided by the fine folks over at Japer’s got us thinking — sure, Oates has helped improve the power play…but has this hurt the Caps?
The Washington Capitals have managed to score at least 1 power play goal (PPG) in 6 out of 12 games play this season; half of the games played. Despite this, the Caps have managed to accumulate more losses than wins so far this season by a score of 7 to 5. To get a better understanding on all of this, a deeper look must be taken.
Out of the 5 wins accumulated by the Caps this season, 4 of these 5 wins came when the Caps scored at least once on the power play. The only time the Caps managed to pick up the W without scoring on the power play came on the road against a downtrodden Oilers team in Edmonton. Do some calculations and that shows that 80% of the Caps wins came when they found success on the power play.
Now to look at the other side of the aisle.
Out of the 7 losses picked up by the Caps this season, 5 of these 7 losses came when the Caps failed to convert at all on the power play. The only time that the Caps still managed to lose despite scoring on the power play was during the first game of the season, 10/1/13, in Chicago against the Blackhawks and in the third game of the season in Dallas, 10/5/13, against the Stars. Do the math and that shows that 71% of the Caps losses came when the Caps failed to convert on the power play.
In short, most of the games won by the Caps came when they found success on the power play, but most of the games lost by the Caps came when they fail to find success on the power play. Further, the Caps have picked up losses more than they have picked up wins this season.
Adam Oates has helped the Caps regain their success on the power play, resulting in wins for the Caps this season, but has this also resulted in too heavy of a reliance on the power play this season? Maybe. Maybe not. One thing is for sure though for the season thus far.
The Capitals live by the power play and the Capitals die by the power play.
Tell us what you think about all of this by leaving a comment below!