Down Island: Capitals vs. Islanders – Staff Metrics And Head-To-Head Tendencies


Photograph:  John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports activities

The Capitals and Islanders are midway by means of their eight-game sequence scheduled for the 2020-21 common season, with the fifth sport set for Tuesday evening at Nassau Coliseum. As was the case of their earlier assembly final Thursday, first place within the East Division will as soon as once more be on the road.

Final Thursday’s sport in opposition to the Islanders didn’t go properly, and sure, that’s an understatement. Nonetheless, with the loss, the Capitals season document continues to be a powerful 3-1-0 in opposition to the Islanders.

Upfront of Tuesday evening’s sport I believed it could be good to take a more in-depth take a look at the present staff stats and some of the stats from the earlier head-to-head video games with the intention to present a little bit extra context to the sequence.


The next desk offers a number of of the fundamental stats from every of the earlier 4 video games of the sequence.

The Capitals have dominated the particular groups battle, going 6 for 10 on the facility play. The Islanders have gone 2 for 10.

The face-offs have been principally even by means of the primary 4 video games. The Islanders dominated the dot within the third sport of the sequence, however in any other case it’s been pretty even.

The Capitals have a wholesome benefit in particular groups, which will likely be key within the closing video games of the sequence. The Capitals have the sixth finest energy play within the league whereas the Islanders are 14th in penalty kill. The Islanders have the twentieth finest energy play whereas the Capitals penalty kill is eighth within the league.


Listed below are the Capitals stats for shot makes an attempt share (CF% – blue), high-danger shot makes an attempt share (HDCF% – orange), scoring probabilities for share (SCF% – pink) and anticipated objectives share (xGF% – cyan) for the earlier 4 video games:

Because the first assembly on January 26, the Islanders have carried out properly in photographs and possession metrics in opposition to the Capitals. As you possibly can see within the chart above, the final development is downward for the Capitals in quite a few the classes.

Excessive-danger shot makes an attempt share (HDCF%) has been on a gradual decline because the first assembly, with a low of 15% coming within the assembly final week.

The scoring probabilities for share (SCF%) has additionally been on a basic downward development because the first sport of the season, and has not been above 50% because the first assembly of the season. The identical might be stated for general shot makes an attempt (CF%) and anticipated objectives for share (xGF%).


Save Proportion (5v5)

The story traces are a little bit extra encouraging for the Capitals on the subject of goaltending. Samsonov and Vanecek have carried out an excellent job in opposition to the Islanders up to now this season. Sadly, they’re going head-to-head with two of the NHL’s prime netminders this season.

Most notable is the third sport of the sequence on March 16, the place Ilya Samsonov didn’t enable an excellent energy purpose. He would cease 22 of 23 photographs confronted for a .955 sport save share. Sadly, that was adopted by the sport final Thursday through which the Capitals misplaced, 8-4.

East Division Save Proportion (SV%) and Targets In opposition to Common (GAA)

The next graph updates the save share (SV%) and objectives in opposition to common (GAA) for every of the East Division goaltenders at five-on-five. (Click on to enlarge).

It’s been a comparatively tough week for Capitals goaltending, as each Vitek Vanecek and Ilya Samsonov have fallen out of the highest quadrant (higher proper) and are actually above the common objectives allowed (GAA) for the division common.

Samsonov has fallen beneath the common save share within the division, whereas Vitek Vanecek is on the common of .907 at five-on-five. This could be a little deceptive, as Samsonov probably had his finest sport of the season on Sunday in opposition to the Devils in a 5-4 win.

Anticipated Targets In opposition to/Targets In opposition to Differential & Targets Saved Above Common

The next graph plots the objectives in opposition to and anticipated objectives in opposition to differential (GA – xGA) and the objectives saved above common (GSAA) for all East Division goaltenders.

Vitek Vanecek is simply outdoors the highest quadrant, and Ilya Samsonov will not be far behind. The final sport in opposition to the Islanders dropped them out of the highest quadrant.

Anticipated Targets In opposition to/Targets In opposition to Differential & Targets Saved Above Common

The next chart presents the identical metrics detailed above, however in linear type. (Click on to enlarge).



Drilling down a little bit extra, lets check out the person sport efficiency for every participant on every staff for every sport of the sequence. This may enable us to not solely see which gamers have made an affect in every sport, however can even enable us to start to develop a greater understanding of how every sport within the sequence has been determined, and permit perception into tendencies for each groups.


Not a lot (good) to say concerning the final sport. The Islanders dominated on the scoreboard and within the superior metrics. (Click on to enlarge)


Not one Capitals participant was above 50% in scoring probabilities for or anticipated objectives for percentages. Merely put, it was the worst outing by the Capitals up to now this season.


Conversely, the Islanders had a number of gamers that posted wonderful metrics for the sport, together with Jordan Eberle, Josh Bailey, Matt Barzal, Matt Martin and Nick Leddy. The highest six dominated, however the backside six additionally posted wonderful numbers as properly. Okay, sufficient on this sport.



Many of the Capitals forwards have been beneath 50%, aside from Nicklas Backstrom and Tom Wilson, but the Capitals have been capable of snatch the victory resulting from robust netminding by Ilya Samsonov.

Additionally of notice are the numbers for the Capitals fourth line (Hagelin, Dowd and Hathaway), who sometimes publish the perfect numbers for the Capitals forwards. They have been dominated on this sport.


A number of Islanders had excellent video games, together with Adam Pelech, Anthony Beauvillier, Brock Nelson, Josh Bailey, Ryan Pulock and Scott Mayfield. Pelech and Bailey have been robust in all video games of the sequence.

The Islanders prime 4 defenders as soon as once more dominated when on the ice, however the Capitals managed to take the 6-3 victory.



As soon as once more the numbers have been comparatively poor for the Capitals, however the staff managed to drag out the victory. Defensemen Justin Schultz and Zdeno Chara had optimistic metrics, together with ahead Conor Sheary. Nicklas Backstrom was above 50% in anticipated objectives for share.


Adam Pelech, Anthony Beauvillier, Josh Bailey, Mathew Barzal, Ryan Pulock, and Scott Mayfield posted wonderful metrics within the second sport. This could turn out to be a recurring theme within the video games that adopted, as their traces and defensive pairs have been a constant problem for the Capitals.



The Capitals posted their finest metrics within the first sport of the sequence, as a number of gamers have been at or above 50% in scoring probabilities for and anticipated objectives.


The Islanders as soon as once more held a agency benefit in scoring probabilities for and anticipated objectives for percentages.


They Islanders have merely dominated the possession and shot metrics in every of the earlier 4 conferences up to now this season. It’s much more spectacular when you think about the Islanders are enjoying on the stage they’ve been enjoying at with out the providers of their Captain, Anders Lee.

The excellent news is we’re solely half means by means of the sequence. Count on a number of modifications to the Capitals method in video games 5-8.

Exterior of the remaining 4 head-to-head video games, the Capitals and Islanders have related strengths of schedules for different video games remaining within the common season.

Extra on the remaining schedules for the highest groups within the East Division might be discovered right here.

By Jon Sorensen
Comply with @Nova_Caps


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