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.
After losing 2-1, the #Caps are now 1-41-8 when scoring two or fewer goals under Adam Oates.
— Adam Vingan (@AdamVingan) April 5, 2014
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.