What Happened Those Times When Alex Ovechkin Didn’t Win the Rocket Richard Trophy

Posted May 26, 2020

(Caps Outsider)

With the regular season officially complete, Alex Ovechkin won his ninth Rocket Richard trophy as the league’s top goal scorer, tying Boston’s David Pastrnak with 48.

Ovi winning seven of the past eight is amazing considering he scored goals at a similar pace the first half of his career but didn’t win the scoring title as often.

Here is a breakdown of what happened each of his seasons. Only three times he didn’t come anywhere close to the top spot, but there were reasons we list below.

  • 2005-06 Lost by 4. Ovi had 52 goals in his rookie season, good for third place behind New York Ranger Jaromir Jagr (52), and Jonathan Cheechoo (56).
  • 2006-07 Lost by 6. Ovi’s total dropped a bit as he scored only 46 goals, good for fourth place behind Teemu Selanne (48), Dany Heatley (50), and Vincent Lecavalier with a career high of 52.
  • 2007-08 Won it with 65. Second place was Ilya Kovalchuk with 52.
  • 2008-09 Won it with 56. Second place was Philadelphia’s Jeff Carter with 46.
  • 2009-10 Lost by 1. Ovi came one goal away from another Rocket. He scored 50, behind Sidney Crosby and Steven Stamkos who both had 51.
  • 2010-11 Lost by 18. Ovi only had 32 goals, good for 15th place. That season, the Caps changed up their strategy to be more defensive, outlined in Ted Starkey’s book Transition Game. Corey Perry won with 50.
  • 2011-12 Lost by 22. Ovi had 38 goals, finishing in fifth place, despite playing in a very conservative system run by coach Dale Hunter. However, Steven Stamkos had 60 goals that season to league, the highest recent scoring output other than Ovi.
  • 2012-13 Won it with 32 goals in the lockout-shortened 48 games.
  • 2013-14 Won it with 51, eight ahead of Perry.
  • 2014-15 Won it with 53, ten ahead of Stamkos.
  • 2015-16 Won it with 50, four ahead of Patrick Kane.
  • 2016-17 Lost by 11. Only had 33 goals, good for 14th place, but the Caps played him fewer minutes and were so good, didn’t need the extra scoring that season. Crosby won with 44.
  • 2017-18 Won it with 49, five ahead of Patrik Laine.
  • 2018-19 Won it with 51, one ahead of Leon Draisaitl
  • 2019-20 Won it with 48, tied with David Pastrnak.