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Ex Post Facto, or Why the Capitals Lost...

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Yesterday, I discussed Washington's shot locations in the first round of the playoffs.  As usual, the ex post facto explanation for Washington's loss - not getting close enough to the net - was not true when I actually looked at the data.  So another explanation showed up - the Caps weren't getting rebounds.  Let's check:

 

Reb% 0-2 sec 3-4 sec
Reg 3.90 3.32
Ply 3.81 5.33

 

Washington had the same percentage of dangerous rebounds (0-2 seconds after the previous shot) in the playoffs as they did during the regular season.  And they actually had a much higher percentage of less dangerous rebounds than they did during the season.

In case you were wondering if the problem was Washington not taking enough shots, the numbers don't bear that out either:

 

Reg Ply
Team SF/G SF/G
was     45.9 56.3
sj       44.6 55.3
pit     45.7 50.7
bos     43.0 50.2
det     46.7 49.6
van     43.2 47.0
nj       39.9 42.6
chi     46.1 42.3
buf     42.6 41.7
pho     42.6 41.0
ott     40.8 41.0
la       41.5 40.2
nsh     43.0 39.8
mon     40.3 38.9
phi     43.8 34.6
col     37.2 34.3

 

Over the seven-game series, Washington took shots from the same places as they did during the regular season, took more shots than they usually did, and had enough guys around the net to get as many - if not more - rebounds as they did during the regular season.  You can even look through the scoring chances at Olivier's site and see that Montreal was at a disadvantage there too.  As far as I'm concerned, the issue here was simply bad luck for Washington in the shooting department.

So now I'm looking for other ex post facto explanations for why Washington didn't win.  I'm sure many of you have them...