Alex Ovechkin is in the midst of the worst goal-scoring slump of his NHL career.
With just three goals in his last 13 games (two of them coming in the March 8 shootout loss to Dallas), Ovechkin has been on just an 18-goal-season pace for roughly a normal month's worth of games. Put another way, today is Day 47 since his snowy Sunday afternoon hat trick against the Pens, and AO has scored a goal for the Caps on just two of those days.
Of course, it hasn't been a "normal month's worth of games" for Ovechkin, as this span has included a disappointing (and somewhat controversial) Olympics and a difficult (and certainly controversial) two-game suspension. And the two-time reigning Richard Trophy-winner is still getting his shots on goal, averaging five per game (which is actually low for a guy who has averaged 5.47 for his career so far, but still high by the standards of hockey mortals) and topping that total a half-dozen times during this drought , all at a time when his team hasn't necessarily needed him to be great.
But it goes without saying that for the Caps to have any success when it matters, they'll need Ovi to be the goal-scoring dynamo he's known for being; during their captain's slump (which stands at 15 games for the team), they've won eight games and lost seven (including four in the shootout and one in overtime). For all the talk of how the Caps aren't a one-man team - and rest assured, they aren't - there's no question from whom they take their lead.
It's certainly not time to panic given the circumstances surrounding this dry spell. And there's no reason to believe that Alex Ovechkin's game won't return to the level to which we've all grown accustomed when it matters. But it sure would be nice for the world to be reminded of who its greatest goal-scorer is, especially when it wakes up today to a three-way tie atop the League's leaderboard. And while individual accolades don't mean much to this team or the players on it any longer, the goals that do mean something will be awfully tough to achieve without their best players being their best players. For Alex Ovechkin, hopefully a March that came in like a
sheep lamb will leave with the roar of a lion.