Washington Capitals need three goals or more


(Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post)

Since Adam Oates took the reins of the Washington Capitals in the lockout-shortened season of 2013, NHL teams have averaged 2.7 goals per game. So you would expect that when scoring two goals or fewer, a team’s chances of winning are not good.

Bill James, the noted baseball analyst, found you could estimate the win-loss percentage a team “should” have using the Pythagorean win expectation: the square amount of runs scored divided by (runs scored squared + runs allowed squared). The same can be said for hockey using goals scored and goals-against.

When Oates’s Capitals have tallied two or fewer goals in games not ending in a shootout they have been outscored 145-54, giving us the expectation of five wins. However, Washington has come away with a 0-41-2 record. It is the only team in the NHL to not win a game when scoring two or fewer goals in regulation since the start of the 2012-13 season, a.k.a. Oates’s tenure.


Have no wins in such situations is unlucky. But even if the math had borne out, five wins since the start of last season when scoring two or fewer goals would rank near the bottom of the league.

There are going to be a lot of questions that need to be answered at season’s end, I guess we will just add this one to the list.

Neil Greenberg analyzes advanced sports statistics for the Fancy Stats blog and prefers to be called a geek rather than a nerd.

sports

capitals-insider

Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Comments
Show Comments
Next Story
Katie Carrera · April 4, 2014