As of this morning, the Capitals have one of the best home records in the Eastern Conference at 14-5-1, but on the road they're a rather dismal 7-12-1. There is only team one Eastern Conference team (Toronto, 10-10-1) currently in playoff position with a losing record on the road. In the Western Conference, there are none.
It's not surprising that a team does better at home than on the road. In general, we would expect the home team to win 55 percent of the time. However, this team is a mirror image of itself when it gets away from home ice.
The Capitals score 3.3 goals per game at home but just 2.6 goals per game on the road. On the defensive side of the puck, they give up just 2.6 goals per game at the Verizon Center but a hefty 3.5 goals per game everywhere else.
To put it another way, the Caps, in terms of scoring goals, are 21 percent worse on the road. In terms of defense, they're 35 percent worse on the road. Those numbers suggest that Washington's failures away from home ice could cost them a chance at the playoffs.
Since the lockout, teams with a road winning percentage of less than .400 have not fared well, with nearly two-thirds missing the playoffs entirely. Of those that did get to play in the second season, none got past the conference quarterfinals.
That shouldn't be a surprise. Teams need to win games on the road to advance, and, on average, a team built to make a deep run into the playoffs (past the conference finals) wins more than half its games on the road during the regular season. Those teams that make it to the finals perform even better on the road.
|Home Win%||Road Win%|
|Won Stanley Cup||0.659||0.549|
As you can see, this team needs to step up its game to become the Stanley Cup favorite people thought it was when the season started.
Follow Neil on Twitter: @ngreenberg.