ovi-schultz

A Boston writer named Michael Hurley wrote an article about how Alex Ovechkin‘s plus-minus rating is really bad and therefore Alex Ovechkin is really bad. I’m going to link to it here because that’s the responsible thing to do, but please don’t read it. Hurley, who actually gets paid for this dreck, goes through some half-hearted apologia for plus-minus (“As everyone knows, plus-minus is a greatly flawed stat”), and then he uses it as the centerpiece of his argument (“Still, it’s not completely meaningless, as some would like you to believe.”)

He also uses a GIF as part of his proof. You know which one.

So, real quick, I’m just gonna bust out a couple reasons why a) Alex Ovechkin’s plus-minus is low, b) plus-minus is not an indicator of talent, and c) Michael Hurley’s column is bad and he should feel bad.

Exhibit A: Jeff Schultz

In 2010, Capitals defenseman Jeff “Mister Nasty” Schultz led the NHL in plus-minus. His plus-50 was the highest the league has seen since the lockout (no, not that one; the one before that one, yeah). Yet, within three years, Schultz was bought out of his contract and drummed out of the league. By the substance of Hurley’s argument, Schultz should be an elite player. His extreme plus-minus certainly testified so. But here we are, living in a post-Schultz hockey world.

Something doesn’t match up. Either plus-minus didn’t actually tell us anything about Jeff Schultz, or everyone missed the boat on writing a “Jeff Schultz is the Greatest Player on Earth” article back in 2010.

Exhibit B: Shots, Shots, Shots

Alex Ovechkin’s best plus-minus year was also 2010, the same year Schultz won the Hurley Memorial Trophy for Highest Plus-Minus. (Weird coincidence there, almost as if it’s more of a team stat than an individual thing.) From Hurley’s piece, you’d think Ovechkin’s two-way play had tanked since 2010, but that’s not true. While Ovi’s shot-attempt differential has dropped,  he’s on the ice for only about two shots more per game than he was in 2009-10.

image (2)

So, to Hurley’s credit, Ovi is definitely not living in the O-zone like he was in 2010, and he’s not immune to the Caps’ possession decline since firing Bruce Boudreau (which they shouldn’t have done). But the difference between then and now should mean only about one extra goal every 6 games, or a minus-13 swing over his 80-game season.

The difference in shots should account for less than half of Ovi’s plus-minus rating, so something else must be going on here. Our next piece of evidence is a much bigger factor.

Exhibit C: Linemates and Luck

Individually, Alex Ovechkin is doing just fine scoring during 5v5. He’s personally generating a lot of shots (especially compared to the last two years), and that’s been the main indicator of his resurgence during even strength.

Meanwhile, everyone else playing with him is ratchet.

Player Goals Shots Sh%
Ovechkin 20 198 10.10%
Not Ovechkin 10 293 03.41%

This is not evidence of puck-hogging. This is evidence of some really bad breaks and perhaps some systemic failure to execute scoring chances during even strength.

The 3.41 shooting percentage by everyone else means they’re scoring about half as many goals as they should. Were those players were shooting league average, Ovi would have been on the ice for 23 or 24 more goals. His minus-31 would be a minus-8.

Ain’t no columns to write about a minus-8.

Exhibit D: The Caps Defense

The big story on the Capitals this season is their defensive trouble suckitude. They’re the worst PK team in the league and they’re ranked 25th during 5v5. There are a few factors at play here, and I suspect they’re both involved in Ovi’s plus-minus. Which, again, is stupid stat.

Let’s start with the roster. The Caps have suited up fourteen defensemen this season, and most of them have been pretty bad. I’ll pick out one.

Ovechkin has shared the ice with rookie Connor Carrick for 97 minutes of 5v5. During that time, the Caps have scored one goal and been scored on 8 times. Put another way: when Ovi and Carrick are playing, just 11% of the goals scored belong to the Capitals. Yuck.

(In Carrick’s defense, that comes despite some not-awful possession numbers: 48.2%.)

All of this suggests three things, each of which may factor into Ovi’s plus-minus to a different extent:

  1. Bad luck.
  2. Bad players.
  3. Bad systems.

Now, there’s a perfectly reasonable rebuttal to this, and it deserves to be heard: Isn’t Ovi somewhat responsible for his own on-ice save percentage?

Absolutely, he is. But the pertinent question is how much? I’d argue less than you might think. Peruse the lists and you’ll see that players experience dramatic jumps in on-ice save percentage from season to season. Same thing with on-ice shooting. Same thing with plus-minus. The lack of repeatability hints that these numbers are not reproducible skills and therefore not indicative of talent.

But if Mr. Hurley really wants to stick to his guns about this, fine. I won’t stop him.

If you really believe that on-ice save percentage is an indication of a player’s talent, then you must conclude Ovechkin is a better defensive player than Sidney Crosby.

Player Five-year on-ice Sv%
Ovechkin 92.30
Crosby 91.48

No.

That would be dumb, and if you believe it, you would be dumb too.


Listen: I don’t like having to defend Alex Ovechkin all the time.  The name of our site tends to short-circuit the brains of casual visitors; they can’t believe capable of nuance (when actually, the truth resists simplicity). Our regular readers know better; they’ve seen all those recaps back in 2011 and 2012 where I bemoaned the way Ovi would sleepwalk through games or pout for penalties.

But in the last two seasons, that has not been the case. If you sit down and write a Top Ten List of Best Things About the Capitals, and the first item on your list isn’t Alexander Mikhailovich Ovechkin, you’re doing it wrong.

I want a community where people can have an intellectually honest and complex discussion with each other about this really dumb sport. Instead, we get twaddle like Hurley’s column, a shamble of intellectual laziness and predetermined, data-be-damned conclusions, intended to inflame rather than inform, and to derail rather than delight.

You’d think a professional writer would know better.

Sure, there’s a lot to criticize about Alex Ovechkin, but we as a group are hot garbage at keeping those conversations in context.

  • Is Alex Ovechkin a good player in the defensive zone? Not really, no.
  • Is he the best scorer in a generation? Yes. Unequivocally, yes.
  • Is he having a good season? Definitely.
  • Is his team having a good season? Hahahahahahahaha.

Plus-minus doesn’t measure any of those things, except maybe the last one. Plus-minus is not a metric of a player’s talent, his impact, his grit, his heart, his compete level, or anything else. Plus-minus doesn’t even really measure a players’ on-ice goal differential (what the hell are shorthanded goals even doing in there?).

Plus-minus just a number to which we arbitrarily assign a story.

Or, in Jeff Schultz’s case, I guess we just ignore it.

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  • Chris

    Using the +/- stat is almost as insignificant as saying a team won because their average attendance is higher than the losing team. BECAUSE F JEFF SHULTZ’S +/-

  • Rob W.

    This was definitely a much needed post Peter, now if there was only a way to get this out to all the people who criticize Ovi and get paid to do it

  • Matt Lauer

    Oh my gosh. I had this exact same argument with the other guys on my men’s league team last night over beer. I’m emailing this link out now.

  • Marky Narc

    I want to click on the link to the article and present the Schultz Argument in the comments, but I simply can’t justify giving them traffic. #unwinnable

  • Skyler Gilbert

    It’s amazing, really. Every time a defender makes a blunder leading to a goal (namely Green, Erskine, Carrick, and Orlov), Ovechkin seems to be on the ice. His bad luck with the +/- stat is pretty legendary. I’m still under the assumption that it’s caused by a small sample size (three quarters of a season) working really badly for him. In a larger three or four season sample I’d expect his +/- to regress to the mean a bit.

  • maxpower123

    Ovi isn’t the only player to be included in a “controller disconnected” gif. It seems Captain Canada himself isn’t immune to defensive lapses.

  • Jack Conness

    This topic is so frustrating. I hate defending my love for Alex Ovechkin all the time because of a stupid statistic like plus-minus. Real hockey fans should know the stat is a joke. Your causal fan probably has no idea. It is frustrating. Ovechkin was like a plus 100000 a couple of seasons ago. Yet no one cares then? SMH. He just needs a Stanley Cup and no one will ever talk about his plus-minus ever again. *crossing fingers*

  • Jon Adams

    I ignored the clear warnings you gave me and read the article. Once I finished it I was looking to comment or to respond to mr. Hurley in some other manner and could not find one. That there is a tell take sign that the source lacks in integrity.

    Great article for him to generate hits with though. Lots of generalizations and thin on supporting stats.

  • Chris Cerullo

    The whole problem is systematic IMO. Ovechkin was no defensive dynamo under Boudreau and nothing has changed since then.

  • Michael Reschly

    > Alexander Mikhailovich Ovechkin

    So I say to myself, ‘certainly, that’s a joke, just like the New Years video. Wikipedia, what is Ovi’s real middle name?… oh.’

  • Boush

    To be fair, someone did believe that the +50 was a crowning achievement in a young defenseman’s career, indicative of a true budding talent, worthy of the very contract he later bought out. GMFLGM.

  • Darla Doxstater

    “Now, there’s a perfectly reasonable rebuttal to this, and it deserves to be heard: Isn’t Ovi somewhat responsible for his own on-ice save percentage?
    Absolutely, he does. But the pertinent question is how much? I’d argue less then you might think.”

    “He does” makes no sense in the context of the question. Try “he is.”

    Then = sequence; than = alternative or comparative.

  • Gringo Hank

    Typos was the essance of this articke, sure… Douche

  • Gringo Hank

    And yes, i did make one of my own on this crappy phone of mine

  • Jack Conness

    DON’T SPEAK ABOUT THE GREAT SIDNEY CROSBY LIKE THAT EVER AGAIN. HOCKEY IS A CANADIAN SPORT AND HE SHANT BE TALKED DOWN UPON. EVER.

  • Jared

    Would love to see the fancy stats that support the claim that his face is ridiculous. What is his face’s FF/FA?

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    Thanks, Darla.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    I’m going with my gut on this one. I’m qualitative over quantitative in my face analysis. I’ll never be a 538 writer.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    Yeah, but if you have the puck 57+% of the time, no one will care.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    Haha. I got in a fight about this at a St Patricks party on Saturday.

  • Jared

    J.R. disagrees, but look at his dumb face…

  • Matt Root

    +/- has, and seemingly always, will be a stat to defend your favorite player and criticize your least favorite. The same “fans” of the game who slam Ovechkin for his +/- clamor to Crosby, who is a +7. Sorry, if you’re going to derail a players year on a foolish stat, don’t bring up a guy who has an incredible 88 points in 67 games with a mere +7.

    How can you realistically defend a stat that punishes someone for a line change just before an odd-man rush, for example, that they had no part in. Nope.. still a minus because that player sucks.

    Horrible stat that will likely cost Ovi another Hart if you go by the actual meaning of most valuable player.

    Hurried post without much supporting my points because I’m eating cornbread… yep, cornbread. This tasty cornbread is so much more indicative of reason than Mr. Hurley’s entire column.

  • Sarah

    It’s not FF/FA, but the FFA does some face analysis of its own…http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fusiform_face_area

  • Sarah

    I always use the Jeff Schultz Argument when this topic comes up.

  • Matt Lauer

    Ha, life would be so boring without controversy.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    DOWNVOTE HIM

  • Jared

    Ah yes, the classic fusiform argument. Well played.

  • Yo8

    I really hate how the stupid Yahoo writer had to mention Ovi’s gif when that happened last season. It’s like he couldn’t make fun of his beloved Canadian boy without taking a shot at Ovi.

    Terrible article but what else can you expect from Yahoo anyways? :(

  • GregV

    Honestly, I think guys like this dude continue to write on this topic because it generates traffic. Who cares about logic or accuracy when you’ve got mad clicks?

  • Stardawg

    I find it unbelievable that everyone playing with Ovechkin has a 3.41 SH%. Especially considering the opposing D and goalies should be cheating/overplaying towards Ovechkin. Where did you get that stat from? Does their SH% increase when playing without him. Maybe its because when they decide to take a shot they can hear Ovechkin screaming for a pass, “DONT SHOOT, PASS ME”

  • Chris Cerullo

    What did the possession numbers look like under Boudreau/Hunter compared to now? Any huge difference?

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    I used extraskater.com. Here’s how I do it.

    1. Go to on-ice stats. Filter situation by 5v5.
    2. Get Ovi’s goals for and shots for.
    3. Go to standard stats. Filter by 5v5.
    4. Get Ovi’s individual goals for and shots for.
    5. Subtract the difference.
    6. Get the percentages.

    I really really don’t think Ovi is a puck hog.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    Top 3 in the league in 07 and 08
    http://i.imgur.com/L0zx8ai.png

    Down to bottom 3rd of the league now
    http://data1.whicdn.com/images/56133243/large.gif

    Chart from here: http://nhlnumbers.com/2013/9/20/six-year-fenwickclose

  • Stardawg

    Thanks. I don’t think he’s a puck hog either, if anything his line mates are guilty of passing to him too much. Too bad they don’t have a 40 goal scorer to play with him (Semin).

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    I actually kinda like JR now when he’s talking to fans and not doing analysis. Seems like a fun guy overall.

  • Chris Cerullo

    Yea that may explain things…

  • johnnymorte

    Hockey is a game of chaos as opposed to something like baseball which is a much more controlled environment. It’s a very difficult animal to define through stats. I think you guys do a great job even though I believe most things outside possession are bunk. Personally, I gain much more insight from watching hockey than I do looking at numbers outside the box score. However, when something is a a large disparity like Ovi’s +/- rating, it garners attention as large outliers do. When a player like Nick Backstrom is a +/- 17, it means that something is unequivocally wrong, and I’m not talking about him personally because NB19 is a very good two way player. It means that this defense sucks and something needs to be done about it, and as much as a I am a fan of Ovi, he has had some atrocious defensive lapses. Again, this has nothing to do with +/-, it has to do with the fact that no one outside DH ever held Ovi accountable for his defensive play, although the way DH dealt with it was equally atrocious. The frustrating part is that I have seen Ovi play very good two-way games, most notably the last game against Devils before Sochi. When BB benched Ovi, BB got fired and Ovi got rewarded for lashing out against his coach. This is where I am in agreement that things started to go horribly wrong for this organization. This is why I have no respect for GMGM. That soft SOB should have stood up for his coach.

  • http://twitter.com/1bscarbro Benjamin Scarbro

    Beautifully written! Well done.
    And yes “Sasha Ovechkin” is my #1 thing

    Top Three Best Things About The Washington Capitals
    1. Matt Bradley
    1. 1998
    1. Jagr trade
    1. A.M.O.!!!
    2. Knuuuuuuuuuble Knights Sign
    2. HBO’s 24/7
    2. Filip
    2. Tom Wilson’s Potential
    2. Meteors
    2. Silver medalist Nicky B
    3. #SashaCares
    3. Fanny pack cameras
    3. Bull dogs vs Ferrets

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    I like the way you put the part about stats.

    Something I like to do a lot is compare how player’s possession runs counter to their goal differential. Like with Ovi and Carrick– where they get 48% of the shot attempts but just 11% of the goals. That’s evidence of some bum luck (or awful defense).

    The thing about Ovi playing D– I care, but not a lot. Like you, I’ve seen Ovi bust his ass on D in ways not a lot of players will. But I don’t want Ovi to become a responsible, buttoned-down two-way player. I want Ovi to be Ovi– starting in the offensive zone 80% of the time, taking 2x as many shots as the next guy in the league, flexing that stick. For me, a better Ovi is an optimized offensive Ovi, not a defensively savvy Ovi.

    Because if a player is on offense 60% of the time, what he does on D is gonna matter a whole lot less.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett
  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    I did not like that piece by Wysh, but I really like him overall. I even read his book.

    The thing about that article that tweaked me was how he was like “if you see what happened before, it’s not so bad for Sid.” That was same kind of point I made about Ovi back in April or whenever, and he kinda mocked it.

  • http://twitter.com/1bscarbro Benjamin Scarbro

    Honorable mentions go to:
    Dale Hunter = Defensive Savior
    Haagen Dazs
    Blocked Shots and Feet
    Concussions&Groins / 60
    C.o.r.s.i.
    Hand Tattoos
    Goalie “Fights”
    Ryan Miller Trade
    And the “ALL YOU FAULT” chant

    Goodnight! Sweet dreams!!!

  • Matt Root

    no cheesey Natalie Portman “you’re breaking my heart” from ep. III? Shame, Peter.. shaaaaame

  • Josh

    Ah! New Years video, I thought it was Christmas gifts and couldn’t find it, thanks for jogging my memory! On a more related note, patronymics aren’t exactly middle names, but I think they’re pretty cool.

  • dylan wheatley

    the controller disconnected gif is so good though

  • dylan wheatley

    oh man this is so bad this is terrible

  • johnnymorte

    You may have something there with possession counter to goal differential. I am going to take a different POV and say that it could be attributed to a lack of sustained offensive pressure. Maybe reading to far into it, but mostly what I see lacking with Ovi is the inability to protect the puck and forecheck along the boards. This leads to a run and gun scenario where shots are taken by their line, then the other team regains possession and scores. This is the pattern that I have observed repeating itself over time, I see it is as a coaching/system issue.

  • yv

    This blog below quite interesting regarding Ovi’s +- and in what great company he is (disclosure it includes Gretsky, Hull, Lemieux, Sakic, etc):
    http://www.greatesthockeylegends.com/2014/03/alexander-oveckhkins-plusminus.html

    Even Crosby is not a giant in plus/minus department considering huge discrepancy between the number of points he has (88, 1st) and very low plus/minus, just +7 (116th). This 81 goals differential suggests that most of Crosby’s goals/points have been in PPs, like Ovi’s, and Pens have allowed a lot of goals with Crosby on ice at ES.
    At the same time, without goals from Ovis line at ES the Caps will not have any chances to be in playoffs. It feels like they didn’t score anything at ES after Olympics and Caps lost most of those games.

  • scrubversive

    Not sure. He may have to take de-Russifing pills and have Canadification surgery. Once we clear up the little problem of the “enigma” behind AO, maybe casual fans/opposing fans/pundits will think a little better of him.

  • scrubversive

    Totally agree. Sensationalism, whether to piss people off or validate someone’s opinion about a player they dislike for whatever reason(opposing team’s superstar/not Canadian/Russian enigma/whatever), is a great way to get attention. The more you drum up people’s emotions, pretty easy to do with blatantly negative content, and avoid rationality, the more people will tune in based on the need to validate their own opinion or rebut the illogical/disagreeable one being touted.

    It works for major network news, FOX/CNN/NBC/(whatever else I wouldn’t know of because I don’t watch TV anymore except nationally broadcast games), why shouldn’t it work for Bobby Blogger and Sporty McPundit?

    Though it still doesn’t mean they don’t piss me off royally… AMO4PREZ!! Oh wait, not born in the US, damn.

  • gustafsson16

    Ovechkin’s defensive failings are nothing new and just more amplified this year by poor play from the entire team. Interesting to note that Backstrom (-17) and Johansson (-16) are considerably ‘better’ +/- than Ovechkin (-31) despite being paired with him on a line for I’d guess at least 75% of the season and logging a lot of minutes on the PK unit (#19 in particular) which has struggled. Even Carlson and Alzner are around -5 despit drawing the toughest line matchup most nights plus PK time. So, what to make of Ovi’s stat? Nothing. He’s just as bad defensively this year as every year. The Caps defensive play (and I mean all skaters, not just D men) have just been terrible as a whole so his stat has become more glaring.

  • Diller M

    Outstanding, simply outstanding, keep it up!

  • Brackaphobia

    Aaand, BOOM goes the dynamite!

    Great article.

  • Diller M

    I heard an interview with a Canadian comic/writer who explained the Canadian psyche which explained all of the russophobia. They can’t stand other people being good at their one thing. It was very eye opening.

  • Diller M

    Not only is he not a puck hog, I would argue, as I sure you would as well, that he got too pass happy after 09-10 when he was being criticized for not passing enough, which was crazy because he was averaging 50+assists. The result was dropped production on the goal sheet, and now that he has that back, we can criticize his +-, if his +- was even, we would be criticising his passing again, completely ignoring the fact that not only are his line mates poor shooters, they are afraid to shoot in general, espicially the Swedes.

  • Diller M

    I would argue that Nickey could be a 40+ goal shooter, but he refuses to shoot for whatever reason.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    He’s shooting a little more than last season, but I agree in general.

  • Rhino40

    If you sit down and write a Top Ten List of Best Things About the Capitals, and the first item on your list isn’t Alexander Mikhailovich Ovechkin, you’re doing it wrong.

    Trenchant, succinct, and comprehensive.

    You da man, Peter.

  • Rhino40

    You forgot:
    SCOAR MOAR GOALS

  • Rhino40

    Damn You Siri!

  • Rhino40

    Who? You mean Sid-The-Id?

  • Owen Johnson

    “Sorry, if you’re going to derail a players year on a foolish stat, don’t bring up a guy who has an incredible 88 points in 67 games with a mere +7.”
    He’s also playing on a team that’s absolutely stacked. Ovi, not so much.

  • Owen Johnson

    YES! Haagen Dazs! Whenever I’m at Tysons Corner Mall, I always stop there, just because BBBB did.

  • Jon A

    Great article all around!

  • Jon A

    Don’t forget the Caps interesting goalie situation that persisted most of the year until recently. That’s been a big impact on this stat as well. I find it interesting that the team (Bos) with three of the top five plus/minus league leaders have a pretty consistent goalie with some league leading stats as well. Hopefully Halak will continue to help in this aspect.

  • Jeff Becker

    I never heard so much BS to try and protect Ovechkin from the reality of his career. No Cups, No Golds and he collapses when it counts most, the playoffs and the Olympics. I could care less if he score 100 goals during the regular season if he can’t get a goal to win a Cup or Gold. Bottom line here is the guy is a loser and your blinded love for him because he has a fantastic shot is obscuring the main objective and that is to WIN!

  • Joey Doukmetzian

    Best article written solely on the basis that you said AO’s line mates are ratchet :)

  • Jonah

    in the words of ov “defense…hahahahaha worst(((((” (probably)

  • Jonah

    if you knew anything about this team (which you obviously don’t) you would know that there are not only 19 other players on the team, but a head coach and GM who have no idea what they want or how to get it.
    OV is playing with a defense behind him that is patchwork at the best of times, and utter bull—- at the worst.
    Hockey is a team game, you are comparing OV to lebron james. OV can score 100 goals in a season and that wouldn’t change the fact that the other 19 guys playing around him aren’t helping him. You need to stop judging Ov’s career on TEAM accomplishments. Crosby has a cup and a medal, toews has two of each, and both play on teams (NHL and Olympic) that are absolutely stacked and incredibly good. if either of those players were in Ovi’s place, they would not be as decorated as they are now.
    Toews never said the word “I” in his presser after winning the past cup because it was not he who won the game, but the blackhawks.
    when/if the caps win a cup, it will not be Ov’s chip, but the CAPITALS cup.

  • Stevarooni

    Saying +/- isn’t a stat you can point to as having a specific meaning is saying it doesn’t mean “nothing”, as that -nothing- would be a specific meaning, In truth it can be an indicator of different things for different players, particularly at large values of +/-. Denying this because, well, you’re talking about one of your guys…it doesn’t make it not true.

    For Schultz it expressed that he was playing with a healthy Mike Green in a career year with an offense that other teams had not yet implemented a proper defensive scheme against.

    For Ovi this year it expresses that his offensive lines are not scoring enough at even strength to sufficiently offset the lack of team defense when he’s on the ice at even strength.

    The question though is does this matter? I think it does. I think more effort needs to be made to shore up 5on5 defense possession within the makeup of the 4 guys on the ice with him. It shouldn’t become backyard hockey when Ovi steps on the ice, which is kind of what his +/- says to me is happening. We’ve got a guy tied for 2nd in the league in ES goals who’s pulling a -31.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    You’re right in your points, but lemme add some more.

    First, I didn’t say plus-minus means nothing. I said it doesn’t mean what people think it means. (I also said it’s dumb to include shorties.)

    It measures outcomes rather than the more meaningful patterns that lead to outcomes.

    If you use plus/minus as evidence that the Caps should shore up defense, you get that same conclusion more precisely using other data.

  • snow-ape

    Jeff,
    He hasn’t won a cup. Or a Gold medal. But his Playoff points per game is in the top 25 of ALL TIME… and his goals per playoff game is 9th of ALL TIME… when you’re the Captain you bear the brunt of the criticism, but saying he hasn’t shown up in the playoffs is false… Hell, he’s plus 9 in the playoffs.
    He’s not a two way player. He’s not a centerman. He’s not going to get the touches a center does. But he’ll be a Hall of Fame player… I don’t believe you can call anyone in the Hall of Fame a loser…

    Love to hear your rebuttal.

  • Alexander Ovechkin

    So there no correlation between me no play defense and minus 31? Me like this writer. Be me new coach.

  • Jonah

    two
    essence, article

  • Jonah

    does this article or argument show that OV is a bad defensive player: NOOOOOO
    does this article draw attention to the underlying problems with the capitals defense? YESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYES
    GMGM please come through!

  • Maria Ovechkina

    Contine kissing ovechkins ass

  • Wtv

    You can use sarcasm all you want. If you really REALLY believe that Ovechkin is comparable to Sidney Crosby, you are a clueless fanatic.

  • wtv

    Crosby is +7 ? Nice… Nhl.com for current stats on players… use it…

  • Matt Root

    Original post was 19 days ago. Comprehension.. Use it

  • Tyler

    Ignore it all you want, but Ovie is a complete liability on the ice when his team is at even strength. He has also quit at every level of competition when he is losing, from the gold medal game in the juniors to the quarter finals this year in the Olympics.

    For god sakes, he went 16 games recently without an even strength point and was – 19 during that time. But no, this writer is right, he’s having a good season, LOL!!!

    The question of him having a good year this year, it’s actually the first time in a while when you can say “not really” for a 50 goal scorer. He is certainly not a leader on the ice and he has consistently shown this, his lack of motivation to better himself in both ends of the ice shows he will never be one of those elite players. Great goal scorer though, no argument there.

    Just a silly article.