The Great Eight Out of the Gate: Looking At Alex Ovechkin’s Start Through the First Nine Games

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While the Capitals are the owners of a 4-4-1 record through the first nine games of the 2017-18 season (their worst start since the infamous 2013-14 season), team captain Alex Ovechkin has played outstandingly, scoring 10 goals (including two consecutive hat tricks to start the season) and adding one assist. In this piece, NoVa Caps takes a look at The Great Eight’s start through the first nine games compared to previous seasons.

As mentioned above, Ovechkin has 11 points through the first nine games of his age-32 season, and has scored an average of 1.11 goals per game. In his career, he has scored an average of 0.61 goals per game. While it is unlikely he will be able to sustain his current goal per game pace, it is an encouraging sign after the normally goal-happy left wing scored just 33 goals last season (his lowest in a full season since 2010-11).

Year Goals Assists Points
2005-06
Game 1 2 0 2
Game 2 0 1 1
Game 3 0 1 1
Game 4 1 0 1
Game 5 1 0 1
Game 6 0 1 1
Game 7 0 1 1
Game 8 2 0 2
Game 9 0 0 0
Total 6 4 10
2006-07
Game 1 0 0 0
Game 2 2 0 2
Game 3 0 1 1
Game 4 0 1 1
Game 5 0 0 0
Game 6 1 1 2
Game 7 1 0 1
Game 8 1 0 1
Game 9 1 1 2
Total 6 4 10
2007-08
Game 1 0 1 1
Game 2 1 0 1
Game 3 0 1 1
Game 4 1 0 1
Game 5 1 0 1
Game 6 1 0 1
Game 7 0 0 0
Game 8 1 2 3
Game 9 1 1 2
Total 6 5 11
2008-09
Game 1 0 0 0
Game 2 2 0 2
Game 3 0 0 0
Game 4 0 0 0
Game 5 0 1 1
Game 6 0 1 1
Game 7 0 0 0
Game 8 0 1 1
Game 9 0 0 0
Total 2 3 5
2009-10
Game 1 2 1 3
Game 2 1 2 3
Game 3 2 1 3
Game 4 0 0 0
Game 5 0 1 1
Game 6 0 2 2
Game 7 2 0 2
Game 8 2 0 2
Game 9 0 0 0
Total 9 7 16
2010-11
Game 1 0 1 1
Game 2 2 1 3
Game 3 1 0 1
Game 4 1 1 2
Game 5 0 1 1
Game 6 0 0 0
Game 7 0 0 0
Game 8 0 0 0
Game 9 0 1 1
Total 4 5 9
2011-12
Game 1 0 1 1
Game 2 0 0 0
Game 3 1 0 1
Game 4 0 0 0
Game 5 0 1 1
Game 6 2 0 2
Game 7 0 2 2
Game 8 0 0 0
Game 9 2 0 2
Total 5 4 9
2012-13*
Game 1 0 0 0
Game 2 0 1 1
Game 3 0 0 0
Game 4 0 0 0
Game 5 1 0 1
Game 6 0 0 0
Game 7 1 0 1
Game 8 0 0 0
Game 9 0 1 1
Total 2 2 4
2013-14
Game 1 1 1 2
Game 2 2 1 3
Game 3 1 0 1
Game 4 1 0 1
Game 5 0 0 0
Game 6 1 1 2
Game 7 0 0 0
Game 8 1 0 1
Game 9 2 1 3
Total 9 4 13
2014-15  
Game 1 0 0 0
Game 2 2 0 2
Game 3 2 1 3
Game 4 1 0 1
Game 5 0 0 0
Game 6 0 0 0
Game 7 0 0 0
Game 8 0 0 0
Game 9 0 0 0
Total 5 1 6
2015-16
Game 1 1 1 2
Game 2 1 0 1
Game 3 1 0 1
Game 4 1 1 2
Game 5 1 0 1
Game 6 0 2 2
Game 7 0 0 0
Game 8 0 1 1
Game 9 0 2 2
Total 5 7 12
2016-17
Game 1 0 0 0
Game 2 0 0 0
Game 3 1 1 2
Game 4 1 0 1
Game 5 1 0 1
Game 6 1 0 1
Game 7 0 0 0
Game 8 0 1 1
Game 9 0 0 0
Total 4 2 6
2017-18
Game 1 3 0 3
Game 2 4 0 4
Game 3 0 0 0
Game 4 1 0 1
Game 5 1 1 2
Game 6 0 0 0
Game 7 0 0 0
Game 8 1 0 1
Game 9 0 0 0
Total 10 1 11

*  denotes lockout-shortened season

As one can see, Ovechkin has been fairly consistent through the first nine games of each season of his career, save for a few select seasons. As a whole, he has averaged six goals, four assists, and 10 points through the first nine games over 13 seasons in the NHL and in the other six seasons in which he has recorded 10 or more points through the first nine games of a season, Ovechkin has scored (in chronological order) 52, 46, 65, 50, 51, and 50 goals, respectively, or an average of 52 goals over those six seasons.

While it is unlikely that the Capitals’ captain will be able to maintain his goal per game pace over the course of the remaining 73 games of the 2017-18 season, it is an encouraging sign that the 32-year old former first overall pick (2004) may not be in decline as some believed he was after last season. With the Caps having lost a number of key offensive contributors over the summer, Ovechkin’s hot start is a welcome contribution. While it may be a small sample size at best, it’s clear that The Great Eight is not done lighting the lamp just yet.

By Michael Fleetwood

About Michael Fleetwood

Michael Fleetwood was born into a family of diehard Capitals fans and has been watching games as long as he can remember. He was born the year the Capitals went to their first and only Stanley Cup Final, and is a diehard Caps fan the owner of the very FIRST Joe Beninati jersey and since then, has met Joe himself. His favorite player became former Capital Nate Schmidt after he met Schmidt in a Hershey hotel while in Hershey PA to see the Bears play, shortly after Schmidt was injured during a conditioning stint. Michael is also a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Orioles, and enjoys photography and reading in his spare time. (Photo by Adam Vingan in 2014 at the Capitals Development Camp).
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8 Responses to The Great Eight Out of the Gate: Looking At Alex Ovechkin’s Start Through the First Nine Games

  1. Tk Hall says:

    OVI IS STILL AN AWESOME HOCKEY PLAYER DON’T EVER COUNT HIM SHORT

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s great to see him have the year he’s been having thus far. It’s a bright spot on a tough start

    Like

    • jane says:

      But Alex still has shamefull ice time similar to that of last season. In other teams superstars have much better ice time.
      If capitals do not find at least 20+ minuts for Alex every night they would miss play off.
      . It is only October, young players must get their chance, but Alex ice time problems cannot be overlooked and left unresolved too long untill it is too late. jane

      Like

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