The Caps need more from Jason Chimera


Photo by Amanda Bowen, RRBG Photography

Jason Chimera hasn’t been good this season. Yet, while more effective players have been scratched, Chimera has suited up for every game and averaged more time on ice than all but five of the fifteen forwards to have suited up.

Let’s start by looking at Chimera’s offensive production. Since this season is only about 1/4 of the way over, we’ll look at his offensive production per 60 minutes of ice time so we can accurately compare Chimera’s production this season to previous seasons. Chimera’s first full season with the Caps was 2010-11, so that’s as far back as I’ve gone.


As you can see, Chimera’s offensive production has declined drastically this season.

A large drop in this production comes from a drop in assists per 60 minutes of play. Perhaps Chimera’s teammate simply aren’t putting pucks in the net so far this season and, as a result, his assists/60 are down.

chimera shooting%

The Caps are shooting 7.62% with Chimera on the ice this season. This is down from 9.92% last season, but is still the second highest % during Chimera’s time in a Caps uniform. So, it is not that he and his teammates have simply gone cold. Bad luck is not the reason Chimera’s production has declined this season.

Next, we’ll look at Chimera’s possession numbers. For this, I am using Caps shot attempts when Chimera is on the ice vs. when he’s off the ice, which are called relative shot attempts (relative Corsi) and expressed as a percentage. For example, 0% means the Caps see the same amount of overall shot attempts when Chimera is on the ice vs. when he’s off. a +10% means the Caps see a 10% improvement in overall shot attempts when he’s on the ice, -10% a 10% decrease and so on.

chimera possession

Uh-oh. Chimera’s possession has fallen off a cliff this season. The Caps are seeing a 6.89% decrease in shot attempts with Chimera on the ice vs. when he’s off, which is not only by far his worst showing since coming to the Caps, but the worst of his career.

A fair point to raise about Chimera’s possession and production numbers is that he is often deployed as a checking line winger, meaning he is asked to be on the ice for a lot of defensive zone faceoffs. Here’s a look at Chimera’s zone start% (ZS%), which is the % of shifts he starts in the offensive zone.

 chimera zone starts

Chimera faced tougher zone starts last season and similar zone starts the season before that. So, it doesn’t appear as if there is a sudden change in deployment that can explain Chimera’s struggles.

Jason Chimera simply isn’t playing well this season. His production is down, as are his possession numbers. Bad luck and deployment don’t explain the decreases. The Caps need more from Jason Chimera or else he should be in the press box on a regular basis.

All stats from War on Ice

About Pat Holden

Pat writes regularly about hockey on Brooks Laichyear and Russian Machine Never Breaks. His work has also appeared on and The Washington Post. You can follow him on Twitter at

Posted on November 30, 2014, in Washington Capitals and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Having numbers verify what you’re able to see is always fascinating. Good read. But then how does Chimmer solve this? Or does he?

    • Tough to say. It could be age catching up to him, it could be Trotz’s system doesn’t suit him, or it would be just two bad months of hockey for that that he will bounce back from. His speed makes him so noticeable when he’s playing well. But this year, he’s been noticeable for all of the wrong reasons, and invisible for long periods of time,

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