Based on the statistics that measure puck possession, the Washington Capitals are a better team than they were last season.
In 2013-14, the Caps finished 24th in score-close Corsi, according to Puckalytics. In 2014-15, they’re up to 13th.
That’s a good thing.
Still, it’s not good enough for coach Barry Trotz. While he likes the way the Caps are generally controlling the puck more than their opposition, he’s not happy with the ultimate results, which have left his team with a modest 9-8-4 record.
“We were out-shot and out-chanced last year and that hasn’t been the case at all this year,” Trotz said, per CSN Washington. “But we’re not producing more goals at this point. We can have a little more of an interior presence.”
Washington’s five-on-five shooting percentage of 7.32, 21st in the NHL, would seem to support Trotz’s assertion.
As would Saturday’s 2-1 loss to Buffalo, in which the Caps outshot the Sabres, 44-26.
“We threw 77 pucks roughly to the net, but we need to have a little more net presence,” Trotz said after that game. “When a goaltender’s good and seeing the puck, then you’ve got to try and make him not see the puck. Need a little more traffic, need second efforts.”
The Caps host the Islanders tonight and are in Toronto to play the Leafs tomorrow night.