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The Noon Number: Focus Shifts to Shifts

A look at the Caps' captain's time on ice

Photo by Clyde Caplan

50.8 - Average length of a shift for Alex Ovechkin so far this season, the 49th-longest in the League... and shortest of his career. Some of that owes to shorter power-play shifts, but not all of it - Ovechkin's five-on-five shift length is also at a career-low 44 seconds (down from 46 last year, and, going backwards, 49, 50, 50, 55, 53 and 52; thanks, Muneeb).

Now, that doesn't exactly line up with Nick Kypreos's math, cited here by SI.com:

Kypreos pointed out what many analysts have noted: Ovechkin is cutting way back on his endless shifts. According to Kypreos, Ovi's average power play shift is down from 1:40 to 1:10 while his regular shifts have dropped from 1:20 to a little over a minute. Both are still too long, but they are steps in the right direction.

How does a guy who doesn't play on the penalty kill have average power-play shifts of 1:10 and average regular shifts of "a little over a minute" and yet have an overall average of under 51 seconds per shift? Who knows - it's certainly possible that Kypreos isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer.

Anyway, here's Ovechkin's average shift length per season, which says absolutely nothing about the player's "coachability" (via Sporting Charts):

Shift Length