The Noon Number: They Don't Ask "How," They Ask "How Many," Ron MacLean

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

A look at why it's not troubling for the Caps' captain that he doesn't have a ton of assists

2.89 - Alex Ovechkin's current goals-to-assists ratio, which has drawn the attention of media north of the border. Via Russian Machine, CBC's Ron Maclean is unimpressed with Ovechkin's start to the 2013-14 season:

He’s got nine assists. He’s not producing goals other than his own.

Putting aside for a moment that Ovechkin's 28 primary points (i.e. goals plus primary assists - goals he's objectively "producing") place him seventh in the League (and in fewer games than everyone in front of him) and essentially dismissing a four-goal performance before the digital ink on it had dried, it is interesting to note that only four players in the Modern Era have scored as many as 26 goals with fewer than ten assists over the course of a season.

But worry not, Caps fans - at the moment, Ovechkin's teammates five-on-five are shooting an unsustainably low 1.4% (2-for-143) at five-on-five when Ovechkin is on the ice. As that number bounces back to something more realistic (in the 6-7% range, perhaps), Ovechkin's assists will increase as well (over the five years prior to this one, Ovechkin had assisted on 40% of the five-on-five goals scored while he was on the ice).

Oh, and one last note. When Ovechkin broke Peter Bondra's franchise record for power-play goals the other night, he got a call from Bondra postgame, and the Caps legend reportedly asked that Ovechkin leave him one record. If he's not particular as to which one, maybe Ovechkin will spare him the mark he set in 1994-95 - the most goals in a season with fewer than ten assists (34).

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