Alex Ovechkin kept his pace for an 82-goal season intact against the Islanders which got me thinking: is 50 in 50 even close to a reality?
50 goals in the first 50 games is a rare feat indeed. It has only been done by five players: Maurice Richard in 1945. Mike Bossy in 1982. Lemieux in 1989. Brett Hull did it twice, and in back-to-back seasons no less (1990-1 and 1991-2). The Great One accomplished the feat three times: 1982, 1984 and again in 1985. So why not Ovechkin?
To estimate his chances I will use something called a Monte Carlo simulation. It starts with me using the shots on goal and shooting percentage for Ovechkin since he made his debut in the league 5 years ago to the last game of the regular season in 2009-10. Only regular season games were counted. For instance, he has only been held to zero shots on goal 3 out of 396 games, or .76% of the time. He has shot 20% in 32 of his regular season games, or 8.08% of the time.
Using this data, and Excel’s random number generator, I simulated goal-scoring totals for 50 games. Then, I ran this 50-game season 10,000 times and calculated the results.
Before I reveal the chances, take a guess at what you think they are. I’ll wait….
Ok, now that you have your guess, let’s look at the numbers.
Based on 10,000 50-game seasons in my cold, heartless math universe, Ovechkin will average 26 plus or minus 6 goals. He only hit the magical 50+ mark two times out of 10,000 – once with 58 goals and another with 53. He just missed the mark once with 49 goals in 50 games and 48 goals 4 other times.
For kicks I also ran this for an 82-game season when I saw NHL Hot Stove predicted Ovechkin would only score 37 goals. For an 82-game season, I have Ovechkin scoring on average 42 goals, plus or minus 8.
So ~68% of the time he should be between 34 and 50 goals. A 37-goal season looks light. I would take the over.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.
Share On