Washington Capitals: Top Ten Goal Scorers

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Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Capitals have had some pretty great goal scorers. However, there is constantly the argument of whether or not an era hurt (or helped) a player.

Undeniably, scoring 50 goals in the 1980’s isn’t the same as scoring 50 goals in today’s era. However, until recently, there was no way to even the playing field in this regard.

Recently, a new statistic called “adjusted goals” was created. Adjusted goals adjust goals for the era in which they were scored.

In a way, it removes any effect (positive or negative) that an era might bring to goal scoring. It was created by Hockey Reference.

We will use Gordie Howe‘s 1952-53 season as an example, a season in which Howe scored a career-high 49 goals.

The first step in this process is to calculate a schedule adjustment for each player. In order to do this, divide 82 by the number of scheduled games per team. In 1952-53 the NHL played a 70-game schedule, so the schedule adjustment is 82 / 70 = 1.17.

The roster size adjustment is computed by dividing the maximum roster size for the season in question by 18. Teams were allowed to carry a maximum of 16 skaters at home and 15 skaters on the road during the 1952-53 season, so the roster size adjustment is 15.5 / 18 = 0.86.

Next calculate the era adjustment, which we will do by dividing 6 by the league average goals per game without the player in question. In 1952-53 a total of 1006 goals were scored in 210 games. Without Howe this works out to (1006 – 49) / 210 = 4.56 goals per game, so our era adjustment is 6 / 4.56 = 1.32.

Finally, we put everything together. Take the player’s actual goals and multiply by the adjustments we computed above. For Howe in 1952-53 this is 49 * 1.17 * 0.86 * 1.32 = 65 adjusted goals. – Hockey Reference

With this new statistic, we can find out who the real Washington Capitals goal-scoring leaders are. No more era debates. Just goals. Let’s find out who the top ten goal scorers in Washington Capitals history are.

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