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Final Grades for Washington Capitals' 2013 Season

Robert WoodCorrespondent IMay 14, 2013

Final Grades for Washington Capitals' 2013 Season

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    And just like that, the Washington Capitals" season is over.

    If you did not obliterate your computer, notebook or smart phone while watching Game 7, then please use the technological device of your choosing to read the final grades for the Washington Capitals' 2013 season.

     

    Note: All statistics courtesy of NHL.com unless noted otherwise.

Offense

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    The Washington Capitals resumed their prodigious offensive production under first-year head coach Adam Oates.

    Washington scored 3.04 goals per game (G/G). That was the fifth-highest output in the NHL.

    And the team's 149 goals for (GF) was well above the league average of 131 per HockeyReference.com.

    The Capitals offense was not without deficiencies, however.

    Washington had a five-on-five goals for/against ratio (5-5 F/A) of 1.07. This was the 10th best in the NHL.

    As further proof of their moderate success in five-on-five play, the Capitals team plus/minus rating (+/-) of plus-eight was ranked eighth in the NHL.

    But the Caps generated only 28.1 shots per game (S/G), 20th in the NHL.

    GRADE: A-

Defense

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    The Capitals defense did some little things very well but struggled overall.

    Washington was eighth in the NHL with 765 blocked shots (BS) and 15th in the NHL with 307 takeaways (TkA). 

    Faceoffs and hits could be discussed under a a couple different categories, but I will discuss them here: The Capitals 50.8 faceoff percentage (FO%) ranked them 12th in the NHL, and their 1091 total hits were 18th most in the league.

    Most damning, however, was the fact that Washington allowed 32.3 shots against per game (SA/G), third-worst in the NHL.

    GRADE: C-

Goaltending

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    The Caps goalies averaged 2.71 goals against per game (GA/G), 18th in the NHL in that category. Washington surrendered 87 five-on-five goals against (5-5), which was 17th best in the league.

    One noteworthy statistic, especially in today's NHL, is how the Washington goaltenders fared in the shootouts. The Capitals were 3-0 in shootouts and actually led the NHL with a .889 shootout save percentage (Sv%), stopping eight of nine shot attempts.

    Braden Holtby carried most of the goaltending load, as he started 35 of the Capitals' 48 games, and played in 36 total. Holtby's goals against average (GAA) of 2.58 ranked 27th in the NHL, and his .920 save percentage (SV%) ranked 17th. Even more impressive, Holtby's four shutouts were seventh-most in the NHL and second-most in the Eastern Conference.

    GRADE: C+

Power Play

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    The Washington Capitals power play was easily the strength of their team during the 2013 season.

    The Caps led the entire NHL in both power-play goals (PPG), with 44, and power-play percentage (PP%) at 26.8. Washington scored exactly the same number of home power-play goals as road power-play goals and finished in the top two in both categories, as well.

    This dominance occurred despite the Capitals ranking 14th in the NHL in power-play opportunities (PP Opp) with 164 and 18th in power-play time at 258:52.

    GRADE: A+

Penalty Kill

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    While the Capitals' power play was their biggest strength, the penalty kill was their biggest weakness.

    The Capitals were ninth in the league in average penalty minutes per game (PIM/G) with 9.8.

    And the Capitals ranked 17th in the league in times short handed, (TS) with 163, and total penalty kill time (PK Time), at 265:01.

    Yet Washington was 27th in the league in power-play goals against (PPGA), with 36, as well as total penalty kill percentage (PK%), at 77.9. 

    GRADE: D

Intangibles

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    The Washington Capitals were left dead on February 7, after compiling a 2-8-1 record.

    Washington then went 25-10-2 the rest of the way.

    With this surge, the Caps earned themselves the Southeast Division title and a berth in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

    Once in the postseason, the Capitals would need to win 16 games to claim the Stanley Cup.

    The 2013 Capitals won only three playoff games.

    Since 2008, no Capitals team has won more than seven playoff games in any one postseason.

    Perhaps the Washington Capitals are emphasizing the wrong season.

    GRADE: INC

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