Let’s start with the player who has the most at stake. Alexander Ovechkin (824) sits 70 goals behind Wayne Gretzky (894) for the most goals in NHL history.
Ovi has not done much to cut down his chase this season, lighting the lamp only twice. This is the first time since 2012-13 that Ovechkin has scored fewer than five goals in the first 11 games of a season.
Always a volume shooter, Ovechkin is attempting 8.45 shots-per-game this season. In terms of his career, that’s more or less in line with his norm. What isn’t the norm is that the puck he isn’t scoring; Ovechkin has a laughable 4.4 shooting percentage compared to the 12.9 percent over the rest of his career.
At 38, he’s undoubtedly lost a step, but this is not a broken-down Ovechkin failing to generate shooting opportunities. Even an average player should have 5 or 6 goals given his output so far and he’s no average player. While a 40 goals might be in jeopardy for his first full season since 2017, he’s going to start scoring goals by the bunches soon.
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