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The Noon Number: Novechkin

A look at the captain’s even-strength scoring drought

Philadelphia Flyers v Washington Capitals Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

14 - Current streak of games in which Alex Ovechkin has failed to score an even-strength goal, his longest such span since a 16-gamer that lasted from March 1 through April 3 of 2014 (and during that streak, Ovechkin potted seven power-play goals, four more than he has during this current run). Of further note, that last “even-strength” goal actually came at 6-on-5, with the Caps’ goalie pulled; Ovechkin’s last 5-on-5 goal came in the previous game.

So what’s going on? Is it simply bad luck? Well, not exactly. Take a look at Ovechkin’s rolling 15-game individual scoring chances at five-on-five (via Corsica):

What we see is Ovechkin bouncing back a little from his low point since the very beginning of the Barry Trotz Era. A look at individual shot attempts tells a similar story (but with an uglier trend over the course of this season):

Over these past 15 games, Ovechkin has registered (per Corsica) seven individual scoring chances, 59 shot attempts and 25 shots on goal at five-on-five. So we’d expect more than zero goals over the span. But the bigger story here isn’t that goose egg as much as the numbers that underlie it. Simply put, the Caps need to figure out a way to get their top scoring threat back on track at even strength... and they’ve got a month or so to do it.