One of the biggest storylines this season for the Washington Capitals was if Alex Ovechkin could continue his torrid scoring pace. We’re 10 games into the season and we might have an answer. It’s that Ovechkin isn’t himself.
The great eight has just two goals this season. None of those were at even strength as one was a power play and the other was an empty net. His first goal didn’t come until his fifth game of the season and prior to that there was two straight games where he didn’t have a shot on goal. Those are career firsts in the worst way possible.
Breaking down the numbers further that’s just two goals on the 43 shots he took this season which is a low 4.7 percent. But the offensive struggles aren’t entirely on Ovechkin. It’s a team effort.
The Caps being 31st among the NHL in goals scored with just 19 on the season doesn’t help the case. Bounces haven’t gone their way and failed passes and missed shots are a factor in that equation. 24 of Ovechkin’s attempts have been blocked while 21 missed the net completely.
It’s not that Ovechkin isn’t involved. He’s certainly trying. Six of Ovechkin’s eight points have come on assists. He also is doing the best he could with his line mates in Dylan Strome and Tom Wilson. He is near the top in the league in rebounds created with 11.
But the goals haven’t been coming and the goals that have came haven’t been typical Ovechkin goals. The power play goal came on a backdoor tap in right by the net where he was at the right place at the right time.
At this point in time Ovechkin is 70 goals away from tying Wayne Gretzky and 71 from passing the great one. With just two goals in 10 games he is on pace for 16 goals on the season. That would be a career low and he needs to average 24 goals over the next three seasons to catch Gretzky.
While the slow start is alarming he still has time to turn his season around. It’s a new coach and a new system. Age is starting to be a factor as well. But when he gets hot he gets hot. He just needs to get on a streak and everything will be alright.