Category Archives: Nosebleeder’s Breakdown

Game by game and statistical breakdown of the Washington Capitals.

Columnists: Staff

Live by the Power Play, Die by the Power Play, Part 2: Revisisted

Photo: Steve BabineauPhoto: Steve Babineau

At the end of October we made a post detailing the relationship (or lack thereof?) between wins and losses and power play success and failure for the Caps through the first month of the season (October). Now that the season is nearing its end, we’ve decide to take a second look at the relationships (if any) between the Caps power play and the team’s win/loss record.

The stats that follow include all regular season games from October 1, 2013 (first game of the season) to April 1, 2014 (most recent game played at the time of this post). At this time the Caps held a record of 34-29-13. All stats used come from the Capitals official website.

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Live by the Power Play, Die by the Power Play

185376384_slideWell this is awkward… (Photo by Patrick Smith)

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.

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Preview: Caps host Habs, look to avoid 0-3 start to shortened season (1/24/13)

Ovechkin Upends SubbanMaybe this is why Subban still hasn’t re-signed with the Habs – Photo by Clyde Caplan, clydeorama.com

Previous season’s match ups:

Game 1 (1/18/12) Game 2 (2/4/12) Game 3 (2/24/12) Game 4 (3/31/12)
@ Habs @ Habs vs Habs vs Habs
Win: 3-0 Win: 3-0 Win: 4-1 Win: 3-2

Still in search of the team’s first win of the season, the Washington Capitals play host to the Montreal Canadiens tonight. After a sloppy start in Tampa Bay on Saturday that resulted in a loss, things got even sloppier Tuesday night in another loss for the Capitals, this time during their home opener. It’s not time to throw in the towel yet, but it sure will feel like it if the Caps can’t come away with a win in this one. Winners in their last game played, will the Canadiens go for their second win in a row or will the Caps finally record their first win of the season?

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Preview: Capitals host Jets in home opener (1/22/13)

Photo by Clyde Caplan, clydeorama.comPhoto by Clyde Caplan, clydeorama.com

Previous season’s match ups:

Game 1 (11/17/11) Game 2 (11/23/11) Game 3 (12/15/11) Game 4 (2/9/12) Game 5 (3/16/12) Game 6 (3/23/12)
@ Jets vs Jets @ Jets vs Jets @ Jets vs Jets
Loss: 4-1 OT Win: 4-3 Win: 1-0 SO Loss: 3-2 Loss: 3-2 OT Loss: 4-3

After dropping game one of the season Saturday night in Tampa Bay, the Washington Capitals aim to even out their overall season record with a win at home against the visiting divisional opponent Winnipeg Jets. However, the Caps won’t be the only team in this game searching for their first win of the season. Winnipeg already has two losses in as many games played, the first coming on Saturday in Winnipeg against the visiting Ottawa Senators and the second coming just last night in Boston against the Bruins in a shootout. Despite looking very rusty on Saturday in Tampa Bay, the Capitals should have a bit of an upper hand on the Jets seeing as this is the Jets’ second road game in two days, not to mention the Caps will surely have a soldout Verizon Center rocking the red in their favor.

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Capitals caught playing catch up in first game of the season

Do yourself a favor and just mute this video to spare yourself from the ESPN commentating…”Martin Saint Louie”…really?

Believe it or not, the NHL made its return today. The Washington Capitals started the season off on the road against its division rival Tampa Bay Lightning, hoping to spoil the season opener in the sunshine state.

The Lightning took an early lead just over six minutes into the game after Eric Brewer lit the lamp for the home team. The Caps would respond with a goal from Joel Ward on a delayed penalty, but Tampa Bay was able to respond with a goal of their own courtesy of Vinny Lecavalier just under a minute later. The Caps continued to play goal-for-goal catchup through the first two periods, never letting the Lightning gain more than a one goal lead, but also never gaining any sort of lead over the Lightning at any point. The Caps second and third goals came from Ward and Wojtek Wolski, respectively. After two periods the score was an even 3-3.

Following the same pattern of the first two periods, the Lightning took the lead yet again just under five minutes into the third period off of a goal from St. Louis. Though, unlike the pattern of the first two periods, the Caps would not match the Lightning’s fourth goal. Martin St. Louis, Cory Conacher, and Eric Brewer would get the final three goals for the Lightning, making the final score a 6-3 victory in favor of the home team.

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Game 1 Reactions and Game 2’s Recipe for Success

Now that Game 1 is over, the Playoffs have officially started and the jitters and butterflies are hopefully gone for good.

While Game 1 ended up being a loss for the Caps, I still feel like it was a win for the Caps mentally. After the shakey season they just finished, it would have been more than easy to go into enemy territory and get rocked by the reigning Stanley Cup Champions. Instead, the Caps stood strongly, even when short handed on three different occasions, and battled this one out right through the end of regulation and into overtime.

I hate to make excuses, but with the circumstances of this particular Game 1, the chances of the home team losing a game like that are very low. What more can you ask of the Caps? All it really came down to was one shot.

Well then again, there actually might be a few thinks that you could ask for more of from the Caps.

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April 2012: Previews/Predictions

Will the Capitals have another photo finish like they did back in 2008?

Believe it or not, the end of the regular season is just around the corner.

With only three regular season games left to play, things sure will get interesting in the month of April for everyone in DC, players and fans alike. Definitely though, everyone is hoping for the best. Can the Caps somehow magically win the division again? Or will they barely squeak into the playoffs, taking the seventh or maybe even eighth seed? Or maybe it will be the worst of all options and they completely miss out on the playoffs as a whole?

April 1 might usually be a day for fooling around, but the Capitals can’t afford to be anything but serious for the rest of April…and hopefully May and June.

Click here for our best preview yet!

March 2012: Previews/Predictions

Will the momentum from Tuesday’s game against the Islanders continue on into the month of March?

As the final homestretch of the NHL regular season comes into view, the Caps are seemingly starting to catch their stride. Although they still sit in eighth place in the Eastern Conference (and three points behind Florida in the Southeast), the Caps have won three straight, including a thrilling 3-2 OT win against the Isles in their last bout. A lot of fans questioned GM George McPhee after he added exactly zero players at the deadline, but with so many teams still in contention for the playoffs, there were few teams that were sellers. This final period will be make-or-break for the Caps.

Quick side note: It seems in every sport that the team that gets hot late in the regular season always seems to make a very deep playoff/championship run (see 2011 New York Giants). The Caps are always a team that starts off well, and remains idle come playoff time. Maybe this tumultuous regular season will actually end up benefitting the Caps. But hey, I’m an optimist. Now onto the predictions.

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Rats! Are the Florida Panthers for Real? – A Statistical Breakdown of FLA’s OTL’s

Rats! Are the Florida Panthers for real? (Image: http://www.rattrick.com)

If you’re like me, you’ve tried and tried again to understand how on Earth the Florida Panthers continue to give Washington competition for the division lead.

By now, most would assume Washington would have (or should have) a firm grip on first place in the Southeast. Unfortunately, the days of total domination of the Southeast division have past. Now for the second year in a row, a team from the sunshine state is showing the Caps almost what its like to play in a division with good, or at least halfway decent, teams.

Last year it was the Tampa Bay Lightning, this year it is the Florida Panthers. To most, this should not make any sense. How could a team that has only made it to the playoffs three times in franchise history currently be challenging the Capitals for the division lead in February? A look at each team’s win column will only create more confusion.

Currently, the Washington Capitals have won four more games than the Panthers have, though the Caps have played one game more than the Panthers. Regardless of that last fact, what gives?

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Nosebleeder’s Weekly Review: Is the Glass Half Full or Half Empty? (Jan 29-Feb 4)

With all three of their games played on the road this past week, coming out with all six points would not be an easy task. Unfortunately, the sunshine in Florida seemed to have left the Caps burnt. Though, their luck surely changed for the best once they made their way up north to Montreal.

@ Tampa Bay Lightning – 1/31/12

Links: [Boxscore] [Game Photos] [Dale Hunter Postgame Interview] [Player Postgame Interviews]

Hey, who knew Matt Hendricks could still score goals? Pretty ones at that!

To start things off, Hendricks would score a beautiful whiff turned into no look back handed top shelf rip late in the first period. Unfortunately, the Lightning would return fire, making it 1-1 just two minutes later. The Bolts would then put up two more unanswered in the second period before Mathieu Perreault responded with an unassisted goal for his 8th of the season. Going into the third trailing Tampa by one, the Caps needed to come out big to stay in the game. Thankfully, just under six minutes into the third Troy Brouwer scored his 15th of the season to tie the game.

With the game tied after regulation, this one was going to overtime.

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