Thursday, December 1 2022

The Washington Capitals were robbed of a game Sunday night by Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Robin Lehner. Could they have made it harder for him by having a one-cent power play and a better distribution of ice time?

Let’s talk about that.

  • As I said in the intro, I think Robin Lehner kinda robbed this play. At five-on-five, the Caps held a plus-seven scoring odds differential and a high plus-seven danger odds differential. Lehner also helped fend off what was essentially a full two advantage minutes at five against three. The Caps just couldn’t find the right trigger at the right time.
  • Speaking of “time”, Connor McMichael played 6:55 of that game and I thought he was absolutely excellent in the offensive zone in those limited minutes. It’s almost like when you’re chasing a game like this that you should play more with your most talented attacking players. Instead, for example, we have Garnet Hathaway (11:42) playing more than someone like Thomas Wilson (11:10) five against five. There’s something incredibly retrograde about that. Down a goal with about two minutes left in the game? Gotta have it Carl Hagelin the low. Good sauce that was bad.
  • I thought the goal Vitek Vanecek giving up was awful, but you can never really complain that your starting goaltender only allowed one goal in a game. He was also very good in the third period and finished with 28 saves on 29 shots.
  • I don’t know what else to say about the power play. I don’t think the team would ever consider letting Blaine Forsythe go mid-season, but man, oh man, is that thing stinks rotten to the core. 0 for 5 in the night including this very prolonged five against three. They are 30th in the league (14.2%) and are getting closer and closer to “skipping” the Montreal Canadiens for 31st (13.3%). I don’t know… frustration personified.
  • I even saw a number of RMNB jerseys in the crowd on TV. At least one made it to the broadcast for sure and I’m using it as a bullet here because it was a 1-0 game and not a ton happened.
  • It’s the first time they’ve been kicked out this season, so I guess they had that going for them.

Numbers thanks to Hockey-reference.com and NaturalStatTrick.com.

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