Hockey MythBusters, Part II

Alex Ovechkin is having a crappy season so far.

At least that's what some would believe. While it's true that Alex has two fewer points through 18 games than he did last year and two fewer goals than he had through 18 games in his rookie year, he currently has career-bests (through 18 games) in plus-minus, power-play goals, PIMs and shots on goal and is on pace to have more takeaways and fewer giveaways than in either of his first two seasons and shatter his career-highs in hits and blocked shots.

As if that wasn't enough on its own, Alex is doing it all with very little help - he has scored 29.3% of his team's goals so far this season (as opposed to 19.7% last year and 22.6% in 2005-06). Putting that in perspective, if Eric Staal had scored a similar percentage of Carolina's goals so far this season, he'd have potted 20 already, and would be on pace to challenge the NHL single-season record for goals scored.

So Alex Ovechkin is on pace to have his best all-around season as a pro in a season in which scoring is down League-wide, and is doing so on the slowest-starting team he has played on in his three years in the League while playing (and living) with contract uncertainty hanging over his head.

To paraphrase Jay-Z, the Caps have 99 problems but AO ain't one. Hit me.
H/t to Nate Ewell on the percentage of team's goals stat.

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