March 25, 2012; Washington, DC, USA; Minnesota Wild defenseman Clayton Stoner (4) checks Washington Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner (27) in front of Wild goalie Matt Hackett (31) in the second period at Verizon Center. The Capitals won 3-0. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Numbers Game: Washington Capitals Edition

In a new feature that I’ll be running here on Gone Puck Wild throughout the season, before each game, I will be analysing the underlying numbers for both the Wild and their next opponent to see how they match-up. Tonight’s opponent is the Washington Capitals.

(For more info about some of the stats and terms I use in these articles, check out my stats introduction piece).

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-Here are the underlying numbers for both teams so far this year at 5v5 Close, along with some general statistics:

 

 

WILD  CAPITALS
LEAGUE POSITION  8th  17th
HOME RECORD  7-1-2  5-3-0
ROAD RECORD  2-3-1  3-4-0
PP% 25.0% 2nd 27.9% 1st
PK% 77.8% 25th 91.5% 1st

-5v5 CLOSE-

WILD CAPITALS
CF% 55.0% 3rd 46.9% 26th
FF% 55.8% 4th 46.0% 26th
SF% 57.3% 2nd 45.2% 22nd
Sh% 7.7% 18th 10.1% 6th
Sv% 94.8% 3rd 90.4% 26th
PDO 102.5 8th 100.4 18th
(GF%=Goals For %, CF%=Corsi For %, FF%=Fenwick For %, SF%=Shots For Percentage, Sh%=
Shooting Percentage, Sv%=Save Percentage)

Wow, look at those special teams numbers for the Caps. 1st in both shorthanded and powerplay percentage?! That’s ludicrous. The Wild better stay out of the box tonight. Aside from great special teams, the Caps are a pretty shoddy puck possession team who have had below-average goaltending so far this year and above average shooting. They will always be slightly better than average in terms of shooting percentage purely because of Alexander Ovechkin, who is one of the few players in the league who can score at an unnaturally high rate.

The Wild continue to be solid in puck possession, and their Sh% is progressing to the mean, while their Sv% is regressing.

 

-Here are the Best 3 and Worst 3 players for each team in various statistical categories. This only counts players who have played 25% of their team’s games so far:

 5v5 CLOSE

PLAYER #1

PLAYER #2

PLAYER #3

Wild CF% Top 3

KOIVU (62.7%)

BALLARD (61.1%)

PARISE (61.0%)

Wild CF% Worst 3

BRODZIAK (46.8%)

BRODIN (48.6%)

FONTAINE (49.1%)

Caps CF% Top 3

LATTA (60.7%)

VOLPATTI (56.8%)

SCHMIDT (56.3%)

Caps CF% Worst 3

BROUWER (40.0%)

       ALZNER (40.0%)

CARLSON (40.2%)

Wild FF% Top 3

BALLARD (64.0%)

STONER (63.4%)

MITCHELL (62.9%)

Wild FF% Worst 3

BRODIN (47.0%)

GRANLUND (47.8%)

HEATLEY (48.6%)

Caps FF% Top 3

LATTA (60.0%)

VOLPATTI (60.0%)

SCHMIDT (56.8%)

Caps FF% Worst 3

LAICH (38.2%)

BROUWER (38.7%)

ALZNER (39.7%)

Wild PDO Top 3

COOKE (112.3)

FONTAINE (110.1)

POMINVILLE (110.0)

Wild PDO Worst 3

VEILLEUX (84.6)

KONOPKA (92.7)

MITCHELL (94.6)

Caps PDO Top 3

GRABOVSKI (109.9)

VOLPATTI (105.6)

BACKSTROM (105.2)

Caps PDO Worst 3

BEAGLE (85.7)

FEHR (86.6)

LATTA (86.9)

Gophers fans will be glad to know Nate Schmidt is putting up some nice numbers so far. Very impressive work by the young man. Troy Brouwer and Karl Alzner are getting eaten alive for the Caps.

As for the Wild, Mikko Koivu is a beast, nuff said.

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-Here are the Player Usage Charts for both teams to illustrate which players are getting tough minutes and which players are being sheltered:

Minnesota Wild

WILD VS CAPS

Marco Scandella is notably out on his own on this graph. He has played the toughest minutes of all Wild players so far this season and has a very healthy Corsi On number. Impressive stuff from the, sometimes shaky, young defenceman. Matt Cooke and Jared Spurgeon are also notable for their good numbers in tough minutes. Koivu, Parise, Niederreiter and Pominville are all playing above-board competition, but with a high percentage of offensive zone starts and are all doing extremely well.

 

Washington Capitals

CAPS VS WILD

(Click To Enlarge)  (Bubble Size=Corsi On Rating. Blue Bubble=Postive. Red Bubble=Negative)

Gotta like those numbers from Michael Latta and John Erskine for the Caps. Nate Schmidt isn’t exactly playing the toughest minutes, but he’s not being sheltered either. Brouwer, Grabovski, Laich, Carlson and Alzner are playing pretty tough minutes and getting heavily out-possessed.

 

Okay, that’s all from me. Make sure you check-out the official Gone Puck Wild Game Preview before puck-drop where you’ll get some useful insight along with all the information you need about the game.

 

Follow me on Twitter for more hockey views/analysis.

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*Numbers in this article courtesy of:

-Extra Skater

-BehindTheNet.ca

-Stats.HockeyAnalysis.com

-SomeKindOfNinja.com

-HockeyAbstract.com

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Tags: Advanced Stats Analysis Corsi Fancystats Fenwick Minnesota Wild Minnesota Wild Preview NHL Pdo Qualcomp Regression Sh% Sv% Washington Capitals Wild Wild Game Night Zone-start

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