Photo credit: Tom Szczerbowsk
Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin scored again tonight. *Yawn* At this point, it’s whatevs. It’s like breathing. It happens and you don’t even notice it anymore.
But let’s not take Ovechkin’s resurgence for granted. Instead, let’s waft into our noses the aroma of slightly-charred vulcanized rubber discs sent towards the net en masse. This is historic. This is a season we may be talking about for the rest of our lives. No hyperbole.
Ovechkin’s goal came with the Caps down one goal with 4:10 left in the third. Clutch. The captain provided for his team again.
This time, Mike Green lofted the puck, flipping end-over-end, from the red line to Ovechkin as he skated over the blue line. Instead of gathering it in and trying to coordinate a play, Ovechkin just one-timed it on a bounce. It went in.
GIF by welshhockeyfan
Most players would whiff on a rolling puck like this. Others would connect but miss the net entirely. For Ovechkin, it sailed to the top-left corner almost effortlessly. No big deal.
According to our homeboy Neil Greenberg, Ovi is on a 73-goal pace. He also appears to be a shoe-in for 50 goals.
#Caps Ovechkin could go scoreless for 10 games and still be on a 50-goal pace.
— Neil Greenberg (@ngreenberg) November 24, 2013
The crucial stat is Ovechkin’s shot volume. He’s averaging almost 6 a game. If he gets lucky, that’s a two-goal game– like we’ve already seen five times this season. If he shoots his career average of 12.3%, that’s 0.7 goals a game. Ovi could hit 60 goals easy.
Here’s another stunning stat from Ted Starkey.
This week, Ovechkin has 5 goals. Caps have 7. Total.
— Ted Starkey (@TedStarkey) November 24, 2013
Ovechkin is the Capitals offense, but while the Caps’ offense is a bit one-dimensional, Alex Ovechkin’s contributions are not:
fourteen twelve of his twenty goals, or 60%, have come at even strength.
Ovechkin now has a three-goal cushion for the league’s scoring lead.
Remember that Ovechkin missed two games to injury, and Alex Steen‘s St. Louis Blues are two games behind in their schedule.
Based on his shot volume and career shooting percentage, Steen might hit 42 goals by season’s end. And with Steven Stamkos out for a while, that means Ovechkin could win the Rocket Richard by a 30-goal margin.
Watch it again. Really.