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The Noon Number: The Eight vs. The Six

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A look at some (more) dominance by the Caps’ captain

Washington Capitals v Toronto Maple Leafs Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images

0.80 - Average goals-per-game rate for Alex Ovechkin against the Toronto Maple Leafs over the course of his career; he’s sitting at 39 goals in 49 games (with another 30 assists). That’s his third-best rate against a single team, behind only St. Louis (0.94 goals/gm) and Minnesota (0.90 goals/gm), and his highest by a large margin against an Eastern Conference foe.

It’s an impressive mark on a personal level, but even more so when you look at it in historical context. Ovechkin’s .80 is the highest goals-per-game rate by any player against the Leafs since Eric Lindros finished his career at .82 back in 2004, and is one of just five players to average at least .80 goals per game (starting with the 1979-80 season). He joins Lindros, Cam Neely (.84), Wayne Gretzky (.87) and Mario Lemieux (.94) as the most prominent Leaf killers over the last four decades; of that group, only Gretzky has a higher overall goal total, with 55 goals in 63 games.

Only five active players are averaging even as much as .50 goals per game against Toronto, with Ovechkin leading the pack by a wide margin. Sidney Crosby’s 27 goals in 43 games (.63 goals/gm), Evgeni Malkin with 21 in 37 (.57), Steven Stamkos with 20 in 40 (.50), Tyler Seguin at 14 in 28 (.50) and Eric Staal’s 24 goals in 48 games (.50) round out the group.

As far as pure totals go, his 39 goals are 12 more than anyone else (Crosby checks in at second with 27) and he leads in points with 69, six more than second-place Patrice Bergeron (who has played Toronto 19 more times than Ovechkin).