Washington Capitals v New York Rangers

Alex Ovechkin has been on a tear of late, scoring a goal in his last five games, and racking up nine points over that span. The NHL recently took notice, and named him their first star of the week. When asked about it, he came out with this gem:

“I just try to do my best. Right now I’m scoring goals and I’m the king of the world. And a couple weeks ago I was almost in the toilet. So maybe you just forget to flush me.”

If you recall, some in the media had, indeed, flushed him (*cough*Milbury*cough*).

The Capitals have three straight wins, and suddenly sit two points out of a playoff spot. If Ovechkin can continue producing even half as much as he has over the past handful of games, don’t be surprised to see the Caps keep climbing.

“It feel normal. Like long time. It feels like kind of excited.

Sometimes it’s just lucky shot, sometimes it’s lucky bounce. Linemates have to do very good job to find me. They did and I just have to put puck in the net.”

Ah yes, so simple. Love that these quotes are written verbatim.

Comments (24)

  1. As I’ve commented before: him being in the toilet still puts him in front of 95% of other top 6 forwards in production. People need to calm down. Now he’s in the top 98%. I’d say he never stopped being among the most elite.

  2. Let’s see. 30 teams X 6 top-6 forwards/team ( by definition ) = 180 forwards.

    If 5% are in front of the toilet version of Ovie, that’s only 9 forwards better than him.

    Since Crosby, Malkin, Toews, Kane, Hossa, Kopitar, Staal, Getzlaf, Perry, Giroux, Kovalchuk, Sedins X 2, Stamkos, St-Louis, Nash, Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Bergeron, Parise, Tavares, Duchene are all definitely better then the bad Ovie. You can argue about another 10-15 players. So no, the toilet version of Ovie isn’t better than 95% of the top-6 forwards.

    Now the king of the world version of Ovie is something special, let’s see if he comes back…For now he is still trailing Ladd and Kadri…

    • For comparison, “Toilet Ovechkin” had just 3 more goals and equal assists to Michael Ryder, who was the fourth best forward (by points) on a non-playoff team.

  3. I didn’t say better. I said he is in front in terms of production. He’s not better. Bergeron puts up half the points but is a much better player. The deal with Ovie has always been about production and even when he was in the toilet his production was still higher than the majority of top 6 forwards. Last year he finished the season with higher production than just over 97% of top 6 forwards and right now he is higher than just under 97%. When he was in the toilet he was still better than 90%. The point is that in terms of production, which is what this guy is all about…he’s never stopped being elite.

    Better? No. That’s another topic.

  4. He had 65 points last year, 37th in league scoring. How is that higher production than 97% of top 6 forwards ? 36/180 or 20% of the league top 6 forwards had better point production than Ovie.

    • Was talking about goals only.

      • Wow, you mean the guy who gets free reign to do whatever he wants (i.e. plays every minute of every PP), doesn’t pass or backcheck, starts almost every shift in the offensive zone and hangs out in the same spot waiting for passes is good at scoring goals?

        • There’s a lot that Ovechkin doesn’t have going for him, but some of these are just wrong. He passes up shots all the time, to the point where you just want him to shoot more. His zone starts aren’t even close to what the Sedins, Malkin, or Toews get. (56% is pretty normal for a good forward. He’s never broken 60%.) And he’s all over the ice at ES, but moves between the left point and left half-wall on the PP when either Ribeiro or Backstrom has the puck on the right side (Oh no! There’s actually a structure to the PP!)

          He leads the league in shots. He’s historically good at getting shots off. No small feat.

          • You said “He passes up shots all the time, to the point where you just want him to shoot more” and “He leads the league in shots.”

            Why would you want someone to shoot more when they’re shooting more than anyone else, and not successful at it?

            He has 6 ES goals. Chris Stewart, Blake Wheeler, and Jiri Tlusty each have twice as many. Most people don’t even know who those guys play for, even though they’re much better at putting the puck in the net than the not-so-great 8.

  5. It’s worth noting that, among forwards, Ovechkin has the 2nd worst +/- on his team, despite having the 4th lowest QoC, and 2nd best zone starts.

    His stats are inflated by his 10 PPG and 5 PPA. For some reason the PP gameplan is to get him the puck whenever possible while he stands on the dot. I guess team morale is higher when OV scores since he’s not pouting on the bench.

    You’d think these guys would be sick of having to spoon-feed the guy? I’m sure that will happen soon.

    • In response to the reply you made to the comment above:

      Stewart – St. Louis, 97 career goals
      Wheeler – Winnipeg, 88 career goals
      Tlusy – Carolina, 47 career goals

      Ovechkin’s career goal total = 355

      Yes, they are much better at putting the puck in the net…

      • Stewart – St. Louis, 97 career goals
        Wheeler – Winnipeg, 88 career goals
        Tlusy – Carolina, 47 career goals

        The above 3 guys are far more effective this year, period.

        Put 60 year old Bobby Hull on the PP instead of OV and he’ll have similar numbers. He doesn’t have to do anything, just stand there and let it rip.

        Crosby and Tavares got the GWGs last night, again. Talk about winners. Where was OV? Oh, doing nothing, again.

    • The guy has put up some of the highest single-season shot totals in NHL history. Merely in the league lead by a few is low by his standards–he gets the puck in a shooting position all the time, more than any other player.

      http://www.hockey-reference.com/play-index/psl_finder.cgi?request=1&match=single&year_min=&year_max=&season_start=1&season_end=-1&age_min=0&age_max=99&birth_country=&franch_id=&is_active=&is_hof=&pos=S&handed=&c1stat=shots&c1comp=gt&c1val=300&c2stat=&c2comp=gt&c2val=&c3stat=&c3comp=gt&c3val=&c4stat=&c4comp=gt&c4val=&order_by=shots

      By the same small-sample logic, Pascal Dupuis is a top-2 scorer in the NHL. 14 ESGs, tied with Stamkos to lead the league (albeit with 2 extra GP).

      He’s scoring at a 40-per-82 pace. That’s pretty successful. If you reduce the sample size (#GP), the variance will increase–we’ll see more scorers break the 40 or 50-per-82 goals rate, and more guys underperform.

      Even with all the PPGs, he’s still slightly below his career shooting% average. He’s been a big PPG threat for years, and with a center who doesn’t actively hurt possession at ES (Ribeiro, until recently) he’d be scoring more at ES. His good PP luck has evened out, in some respects, poor ES luck.

      You’ll note that his +/- per 60 is zero, median among Caps forwards. I’m not saying his ES play has been great, but he’s been doing slightly better than Ribeiro and Brouwer, two of his main linemates this season. (And better than Hendricks and Crabb, too.) And he’s in the top five in penalties drawn, which adds a few goals.

      Your point on QoC may be valid, but it’s worth noting that by TOICOMP Ovechkin saw tough competition last year (which QoC showed as easy), and by QoT only Hendricks, Beagle, Crabb, and Volpatti have seen worse QoT. (I personally don’t like using QoC until about 40 or 50 games, though–it still fluctuates a bit much for my liking.)

      • I hear you but “scoring at a 40-per-82 pace” is not impressive if the majority of the goals are from the same spot on the powerplay. He has zero offensive creativity and will continue to regress once either a) opponents figure out how to shut him down on the dot or b) his teammates stop going out of their way to spoon feed him.

        I don’t understand the point of +/- per 60? It seems like a way to minimize the fact that he is a big minus, second lowest on the team, in fact.

      • “Your point on QoC may be valid, but it’s worth noting that by TOICOMP Ovechkin saw tough competition last year (which QoC showed as easy), and by QoT only Hendricks, Beagle, Crabb, and Volpatti have seen worse QoT. (I personally don’t like using QoC until about 40 or 50 games, though–it still fluctuates a bit much for my liking.)”

        I’m not at your level with the stats, so I can’t respond, but I’ll do my homework in the meantime. FWIW I get my info from Japer’s Rink, which I have bookmarked and check out after most Caps losses. (Is it obvious I don’t like them?)

        I feel OV is at best a PP specialist, and not even a top 50 forward. If it’s not clear now, it’s my personal feeling (EDIT – I fu&%ing guarantee) it will be by the end of next season :)

  6. Honestly, the Capitals should trade him to a well rounded team that is missing a role he could fill. The rile being the finish. A team like Boston filled with playmakers and good defense could use him and he’d probably improve his overall game. Ovie is not going to lead the Capitals to a Cup. Time to trade him and rebuild. Not sure the logistics of this with his contract and salary but just my uneducated observation.

    • Logistics–he has 1 more year left after this one at $9 million…and 7 after that at $10 million. The contract is probably untradeable, realistically–the Caps would have to throw in Kuznetsov and Forsberg to bribe a team to take him, I’d imagine. And even that may not be enough.

    • I don’t think any one player in the nhl could lead the caps to a cup with there roster

  7. He had 1 bad season if 38 goals is a bad season the caps have had how many coaches since hes been in the nhl and now Adam oates is trying to make him more of a defensive player trying to change his game that would mess with any ones production

    • Whose fault is it that Oates is there anyways?

      Didn’t OV chase away Boudreau? Didn’t Hunter say f$%^ that, Im out of here, thanks to the Russian Diva? And now Oates is the problem?

      Riiight, it’s not OV, nope, he’s golden.

      • Not saying oates is the problem just that changing his game will stunt his production until he gets the hang of it if he does get the hang of it oates is just trying to make him more of a complete player and yes he has been pretty much golden who else has put up the goals he has not crosby hes only had more than 38 goals twice and one of those was 39 but when ovechkin scores 38 hes the toilet ovi

        • Fair enough about getting the hang of the system. I think you need to adjust your expectations though. Things aren’t going to get better for the Caps or Ovi, they’re going to get much worse. And how do you even mention Sid and Ovi in the same sentence?

          Oates is going out of his way to please Ovi by not criticizing him and allowing him to stand on the dot waiting for juicy passes, while instructing the rest of the team to feed it to him whenever possible. Why not, it’s working (this week). When the opposition figure that out, what do the Caps and Ovi have up their sleeve? I’m guessing nothing.

          • Your right ovi does stand in that same spot game after game i honestly think him and crosby are just as good in totally different ways but i got a question for u or anyone who can answer it how did they know ovi would be so good and worthy of a #1 draft pick because his Russian stats are not anything to look at i don’t know much about euro Russian hockey at all

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