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Trotz on Caps’ slump: the ‘math doesn’t add up’

NHL Hockey - Detroit Redwings at Washington Capitals

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 29: Detroit Red Wings center Gustav Nyquist (14) tips the puck up before scoring a goal on Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby (70) during the second period in a game between the Detroit Redwings and the Washington Capitals at the Verizon Center on October 29, 2014 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

The Washington Post/Getty Images

Barry Trotz may not want his players worrying about their Corsi scores, but the Capitals coach is clearly aware of his team’s underlying possession numbers, which have been among the best in the NHL.

Despite those stats, Washington (4-5-3) will enter Friday’s contest in Chicago on a five-game winless streak.

“I don’t know if there’s a disconnect at all,” Trotz said, per the Washington Post. “There’s times where the math doesn’t add up, and this is one of those stretches where the math is not adding up. It could be an individual play, it could be a lucky bounce. We had a lucky bounce, they had a lucky bounce. We tried to shoot the puck in the corner, it went in our net. Went off our guy. The disconnect, some of it is random, and that’s where it’s a little bit random right now.”

The math, of course, starts to add up when goaltending is considered. Braden Holtby’s last three straight starts have ended with a save percentage of .857 or worse. Justin Peters started the other two games of the five-game winless streak; he was good in one, and not so good in the other.

Combined, Holtby and Peters have registered an unimpressive save percentage of .887 this season. Only three other teams have had worse goaltending, based on team save percentage.

Still, Holtby insists he’s feeling good about his game.

“I’ve felt a lot worse than I do now when things are going good,” he said, per the Washington Post. “It’s funny the way the game works sometimes. I’ve always been taught you analyze the game based on the shot, not on the outcome of the game. You look at every shot individually. There have been games where I allow one goal on 35 shots and I make twice as many mistakes as I’ve been making.”