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Caps Eliminated in 5 games: Series Stats + Takeaways

May 24, 2021, 5:00 PM ET [40 Comments]
Brian Sickles
Washington Capitals Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Hello All,

The Washington Capitals lost to the Bruins in game 5 of the Stanley Cup playoffs and have officially been eliminated from the playoffs. There is a lot to process and digest for this series. Before I dive into anything, I just want to congratulate the Boston Bruins and their fan base on a great series. The Bruins earned this series win, there is no doubt about it.

Here are the STATS from the series:

Shots on Goal:
WSH – 169
BOS – 173
Advantage: Slight Edge to BOS

Shots on Goal (5v5):
WSH – 125
BOS – 129
Advantage: Slight Edge to BOS

Avg Corsi For %
WSH – 48.65%
BOS – 51.35%
Advantage: Slight Edge to BOS

Average Corsi For % (5v5)
WSH – 48.86%
BOS – 51.13%
Advantage: Slight Edge to BOS

Power Play:
WSH – 3 for 21 (14.2%)
BOS – 5 for 19 (26.3%)
Advantage: Significant Advantage to BOS

Scoring Chances (Power Play)
WSH – 27
BOS – 30
Advantage: Slight Edge to BOS

High Danger Chances (Power Play):
WSH – 13
BOS – 11
Advantage: Slight Edge to WSH

Scoring Chances For:
WSH – 145
BOS – 163
Advantage: Slight Edge to BOS

Scoring Chances For (5v5):
WSH – 111
BOS – 120
Advantage: Slight Edge to BOS

High Danger Chances For:
WSH – 46
BOS – 63
Advantage: Significant Advantage to BOS

High Danger Chances For: (5v5):
WSH – 30
BOS – 48
Advantage: Significant Advantage to BOS

Average xGF:
WSH – 2.58
BOS – 3.17
Advantage: BOS

Average xGF (5v5):
WSH – 1.63
BOS – 2.26
Advantage: BOS

Goaltending:

Capitals Goalies:
SV% .907 (Saved 157 of 173 shots faced)
GAA: 3.20

Tuuka Rask
SV% .941 (Saved 159 of 169 shots faced)
GAA: 2.00

Advantage: Significant Advantage to BOS

Of the 14 statistical categories I highlighted, Boston held an objective statistical advantage over Washington in 13 of the 14 categories. A majority of the categories were actually relatively even with a slight edge to Boston. But where Boston had a significant advantage, they really capitalized and the series separated itself through those categories as the games played on. Here were the areas that defined Boston’s win in five games.

1. Goaltending – Tuukka Rask played out of his mind. The Capitals goalies did not. Sure the Caps tandem of goalies shined in brief moments but they failed to come up with “the save” in any game of the series. Washington led by 1-goal in the third period of games two and game three. Heading into the playoffs, the Caps were 26-2 when leading after two periods. 26-2! If the Caps hang on in both games, they are up 3-0. The Caps could have really used some elite goaltending in those games where they had a lead late in the game. Credit to Tuukka Rask, 159 for 169 is ridiculous. Some of the goals he did allow were tip-ins Those are tough to stop and you can’t really fault Rask. Rask is the quiet MVP of the series for me.

2. Special Teams – Heading into the playoffs, the Capitals actually had a better ranked cumulative special teams ranking. The PP was 2nd in the regular season and the PK was 5th. That is an average rank of 3.5 or cumulative score of 7…however you want to look at it. The Bruins were 2nd on the PK in the regular season and the PP was ranked 9th. That is an average of 5.5 or cumulative score of 11. Boston fans may argue these stats are skewed because Pastrnak was out to start the season. My only argument to that is Ovechkin played 45 games, Pasta played 48.

I will stop talking about regular season because who cares at this point. The Bruins PK destroyed the Caps all series. The Capitals PK struggled to contain the top Bruins PP. The Caps went 3 for 21 on the PP and the Bruins 5 for 19. The series was essentially won for Boston right here. The timing of the Special teams was critical as well. The Caps started game four and five with some key power plays and failed to convert. The Boston PP scored timely goal after timely goal. In game three when Boston was down one goal in the third, they scored relatively quickly and easily on the PP to tie the game. Credit to the Bruins special teams…they were incredibly opportunistic this series, the Capitals were not.

3. High Danger Chances – The Bruins once again just crushed the Caps in this category. The QUALITY of chances the Capitals created were subpar when compared to the Bruins. Through five games, the Capitals had 46 high danger chances at all strengths. The Bruins had 63. At 5v5, the Capitals had 30 HDCF, the Bruins had 48. Goalies can only do so much when facing 12.6 high danger chances against a game. The Bruins top two lines also generated a bulk of goals and high danger chances for the team as a whole. I believe last I checked, over 85% of the Bruins goals and high danger chances came from the top two lines.

So there you have it. Goaltending, Special Teams, and High Danger Chances against doomed the Caps. In addition, the Bruins top two lines showed up as expected. I won’t even touch on health, but I think anyone who pays attention to the Capitals knows a majority of top players were legitimately nursing injuries the weeks leading up to the series. A bulk of players missed multiple games down the stretch. It’s one of the many reasons everyone picked the Bruins

This series was way closer than what a five-game series suggests on the surface, just my opinion. Thanks for reading and Go Caps. Next up I will prob do a offseason storylines to watch for.

Ps special shout out to @Mahewman, a Boston Bruins fan on the site. A Lannister always pays his debts and I said I would give you a shout out if Samsonov struggled in game four after Ovi yelled at him at the end of game three. While there were many other variables in play in game four, Samsonov did not look his best so here is your shout out. Cheers.

Go Caps!
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