The Washington Capitals have one the best scorers in the NHL, but Alex Ovechkin is also one of the problems in Washington. The Caps have been to five straight NHL playoffs, but they have nothing to show for it, and with only 80 pints they may miss the playoffs all together this year.
Ovechkin is leading the league in goals scored (48), and is 6th in points (72), but it his plus minus numbers that is killing the Caps. Right now it stands at -31 (854th in the NHL). He is basically at a +41 as far as what he has contributed to the Caps scoring efforts. With 41 points Ovechkin would be ranked with Mike Richards, and Andrei Markov. It seems to me that despite his goal scoring talents Ovi is hurting his team just as much as he is helping them.
It would help is the Capitals had solid goal-tending, and a few more quality players surrounding Ovi. Right now there is only one player within 30 points of Ovechkin, and that is Nicklas Backstrom with 70 points (-20). The second closest player is Joel Ward with 42 points. I fully understand that Ovechkin’s job is to score, but given the state of his team one would think he could help out more on the back-end.
From a fans perspective, I would love to have him on my team, but only if I had a goalie and some top defensive players along with him. From a GM’s view I would have to question if I would be willing to build a team around this style of player. To his credit Ovechkin does hit, and will scrap, but I’m just not sure if that is enough in today game. I think I’d rather have a team built with strong two-way players that can get me 40-50 points, and then have a dynamic player to add to the mix.
Next season Ovechkin’s new contract will kick in; earning him $10 million a year until the 2020-2021 season (Cap number $9,538,462, via capgeek.com). In July 2014 he can list 10 teams that he will not allow a trade to; every September after that the list can be changed. It’s really a matter of is $10 million worth it for Alex Ovechkin. It could be but not if he continues to play like he has this year. The Washington Capitals need more than goals from him.