clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2017-18 Rink Wrap: Alex Ovechkin

From Backstrom to Wilson, we’re taking a look at and grading the 2017-18 season for every player who laced ‘em up for the Stanley Cup Champion Caps for a significant number of games during the campaign, with an eye towards 2018-19. Next up, Alex Ovechkin.

NHL: Washington Capitals-Stanley Cup Championship Parade Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Regular Sesaon
Scor Scor Scor Goal Goal Goal Goal Shot Shot Ice
Season Age Tm GP G A PTS +/- PIM EV PP SH GW S S% ATOI FO% Awards
2005-06 20 WSH 81 52 54 106 2 52 28 21 3 5 425 12.2 21:37 AS-1,Calder-1,Hart-6
2006-07 21 WSH 82 46 46 92 -19 52 30 16 0 8 392 11.7 21:23 AS-9,AS-1,Hart-22
2007-08 22 WSH 82 65 47 112 28 40 43 22 0 11 446 14.6 23:06 38.9 AS-1,Byng-9,Hart-1,Pearson-1,Richard-1,Ross-1,Selke-30
2008-09 23 WSH 79 56 54 110 8 72 36 19 1 10 528 10.6 23:00 25.0 AS-1,AS-10,Hart-1,Pearson-1,Richard-1,Selke-50
2009-10 24 WSH 72 50 59 109 45 89 37 13 0 7 368 13.6 21:48 45.5 AS-9,AS-1,Hart-2,Pearson-1,Selke-28
2010-11 25 WSH 79 32 53 85 24 41 25 7 0 11 367 8.7 21:22 33.3 AS-2,Hart-14
2011-12 26 WSH 78 38 27 65 -8 26 25 13 0 3 303 12.5 19:48 40.0 AS-10
2012-13 27 WSH 48 32 24 56 2 36 16 16 0 4 220 14.5 20:53 0.0 AS-2,AS-1,Hart-1,Richard-1
2013-14 28 WSH 78 51 28 79 -35 48 27 24 0 10 386 13.2 20:33 66.7 AS-2,Hart-23,Richard-1
2014-15 29 WSH 81 53 28 81 10 58 28 25 0 11 395 13.4 20:20 40.0 AS-1,Hart-2,Richard-1
2015-16 30 WSH 79 50 21 71 21 53 31 19 0 8 398 12.6 20:19 AS-7,AS-2,Hart-6,Richard-1
2016-17 31 WSH 82 33 36 69 6 50 16 17 0 7 313 10.5 18:22 0.0 AS-3,Hart-12
2017-18 32 WSH 82 49 38 87 3 32 32 17 0 7 355 13.8 20:09 37.5 Richard-1,Smythe-1
Career 1003 607 515 1122 87 649 374 229 4 102 4896 12.4 20:58 35.8

Playoffs
Scor Scor Scor Goal Goal Goal Goal Ice
Season Age Tm GP G A PTS +/- PIM EV PP SH GW S S% ATOI FO%
2007-08 22 WSH 7 4 5 9 -1 0 3 1 0 2 37 10.8 24:03 0.0
2008-09 23 WSH 14 11 10 21 10 8 8 3 0 1 90 12.2 23:21 66.7
2009-10 24 WSH 7 5 5 10 5 0 4 1 0 0 34 14.7 23:06 50.0
2010-11 25 WSH 9 5 5 10 -1 10 4 1 0 1 34 14.7 23:30 100.0
2011-12 26 WSH 14 5 4 9 -2 8 3 2 0 1 50 10.0 19:51 100.0
2012-13 27 WSH 7 1 1 2 -2 4 0 1 0 0 30 3.3 20:44
2014-15 29 WSH 14 5 4 9 -3 6 4 1 0 0 61 8.2 19:57 100.0
2015-16 30 WSH 12 5 7 12 3 2 2 3 0 1 62 8.1 21:19
2016-17 31 WSH 13 5 3 8 -4 8 3 2 0 0 49 10.2 19:30
2017-18 32 WSH SC 24 15 12 27 8 8 9 6 0 2 99 15.2 20:44
Career 1 121 61 56 117 13 54 40 21 0 8 546 11.2 21:18 71.4

Key Stats: Ovechkin led the League in goals in both the regular-season (49) and the playoffs (15), leading the Caps to their eighth Division title during his tenure and first Stanley Cup win in franchise history, respectively.

Interesting Stats: Ovechkin became the first player in a century to open a season with back-to-back hat tricks; Cy Denneny, Reg Noble and Joe Malone all pulled off the feat back in 1917. Ovechkin notched the first of his 2017-18 hatties with three goals in the third period in Ottawa and followed it up with three in the first period of the home opener against Montreal, making him the third player in NHL history to record two consecutive three-goal periods in two games and the first since 1980 (Rick Martin, 1975; Darryl Sittler, 1980).

The Good: Alex Ovechkin captained the Washington Capitals to a Stanley Cup championship, picking up the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoffs’ most valuable player along the way; how’s that for “good”? In the blink of an eye, Ovechkin went from “hockey’s Dan Marino” to joining one of the sport’s most exclusive and impressive clubs: players who have won at least three regular-season and one post-season MVP. The three other names on that list? Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux and Bobby Orr. That’s... not bad.

But before the playoffs, of course, there was the regular season, one which Ovechkin kicked off with those back-to-back hat tricks (including a four-goal game in the home opener) en route to his League-high 49 tallies, marking the seventh time he’s led the NHL in goals (and, at 32, Ovechkin became the oldest man to achieve that feat since Phil Esposito in 1974-75). He finished the campaign with 87 points for the first-place Caps, posting his highest point total since 2009-10 and his highest per-game rate over a full season since 2010-11.

Ovechkin set records and hit milestones all season long, setting the franchise mark for hat tricks (20), taking sole possession of the top spot in career overtime goals (20), registering his 600th career goal, 500th career assist and 1100th career point, ninth career 40-goal season (only Gretzky (12), Lemieux (10) and Marcel Dionne (10) have more), and playing in his 1,000th career game. For the second-straight season and fifth time overall, Ovechkin didn’t miss a game and has only missed more than four games in a season once in his career (he missed ten in 2009-10), led the NHL in shots on goal for the 11th time, and took the second-fewest penalties of any of his 13 seasons (16 minors; he took just 13 in 2011-12). And, yes, his underlying numbers were strong, as well.

Then came the playoffs. Ovechkin notched five goals and three assists in the first round, four and four in the second, four and three in the third, and three and two in the Final (alas, had Vegas been more impressive, so too would have been Ovechkin’s stat line... but we’re not complaining). Circling back to Round 2 and Pittsburgh, in the Caps’ four wins, Ovechkin had a first goal, a game-winner, and primary assists on the other two game-winners, including the series clincher:

Seven of Ovechkin’s playoff-high 15 goals opened the scoring (including his game-winner in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final) and 11 came in wins. Reasonable minds can disagree as to who should have won the Conn Smythe (the case for Evgeny Kuznetsov is very strong), but Alex Ovechkin was an incredibly worthy recipient. Of the Conn Smythe Trophy. Which he won. When the Washington Capitals won the Stanley Cup. Because that actually happened.

The Bad: Um... uh... hmm. Dude was minus-four in a game during the second week of the season. And he went six whole games without a goal at one point in November. So, really, an up-and-down season for the Great Eight.

The Video:

The Charts:

Ovechkin’s Season, Game-by-Game (via HockeyViz, explained here):

Ovechkin and His Linemates (chart by @muneebalamcu):

Ovechkin’s 5v5 Teammates and Competition (via HockeyViz, explained here):

Ovechkin’s 5v5 Usage (chart by @muneebalamcu):

Ovechkin’s With-or-Without You (via HockeyViz, explained here):

Ovechkin’s Rolling Shot-Attempt (Corsi) -For Percentage (chart by @muneebalamcu):

Ovechkin’s Player Traits and Performance (chart by @RK_Stimp, data by @ShutdownLine, Tableau here):

The Vote: Rate Ovechkin below on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the best) based on his performance relative to his potential and your expectations for the season - if he had the best year you could have imagined him having, give him a 10; if he more or less played as you expected he would, give him a 5 or a 6; if he had the worst year you could have imagined him having, give him a 1.

The Discussion: After a season like that, what can Ovechkin possibly do for an encore? Do we start (start?) talking about what it would take to catch Gretzky? Back-to-back championships? The fact that he only has three years left on his current contract and what comes next? Alex Ovechkin was already a legend before this past season, and his 2018-19 season cemented, bronzed and encased that in some impenetrable substance we haven’t yet discovered; the only questions remaining relate to where among the game’s all-time greats he ranks when it’s all said and done. Oh, and what would it take for you to give him a “10” next year?

Other Ovechkin Season Reviews: Peerless, RMNB

Poll

How do you rate Alex Ovechkin’s 2017-18 season?

This poll is closed

  • 88%
    10
    (648 votes)
  • 8%
    9
    (65 votes)
  • 2%
    8
    (17 votes)
  • 0%
    7
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    6
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    5
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    4
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    3
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    2
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    1
    (3 votes)
736 votes total Vote Now