Alex Ovechkin Is Off to His Best Start in His Career

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Posted November 15, 2021

(Caps Outsider)

Through 15 games, 36-year-old Alex Ovechkin is off to the best start of his career in terms of points, rebounding from a relatively slow start last season and putting up numbers that can only suggest he’s still getting better.

With 12 goals in 15 games, Ovi has matched a goal total he’s had four other times in his career, while once, he had 14. He scored at least 50 in each of those seasons, excluding 2018 in which he had 49. Strangely, when he scored 65 goals in 2007-2008, he scored only 9 in the first 15 games.

Ovechkin is also getting more assists to start the season, as he has a career high of 14 through 15 games. Last season, he had 18 total in 45 games. In 2015-16, he had 21 in 79 games, a number that didn’t seem possible considering the amount of time he spends in the offensive zone.

This begs the question: What’s different this season?

Well, Nicklas Backstrom is out, which makes a huge difference in his game, particularly on the power play, as he’s only got two power play goals this season. Perhaps he would have more points if Backstrom was in the lineup. Maybe, but what if  Ovi is playing better because Backstrom is out and Evgeny Kuznetsov’s elevated game is giving a boost to Ovi? Let’s go with that.

Year Games G A P S SPG* Rank* Leaders*
2005 15 12 5 17 78 5.2 1st
2006 15 10 8 18 83 5.53 1st
2007 15 9 7 16 75 5 1st
2008 13 4 9 13 61 4.69 3rd Semin 13, Green 6
2009 14 14 9 23 86 6.14 1st
2010 15 8 12 20 72 4.8 2nd Semin 9
2011 15 7 7 14 50 3.33 1st
2012 15 5 5 10 64 4.27 2nd – T Brower 7, Ribeiro 5, Ward 5
2013 13 12 6 18 79 6.08 1st
2014 15 8 8 16 73 4.87 1st
2015 14 8 8 16 79 5.64 1st
2016 15 7 4 11 63 4.2 1st – T Johansson 7
2017 15 12 5 17 73 4.87 1st
2018 15 12 6 18 55 3.67 1st
2019 15 11 8 19 72 4.8 1st
2021 11 5 9 14 43 3.91 3rd – T Backstrom 8, Wilson 6, Vrana 5
2022 15 12 14 26 65 4.33 1st

SPG: Shots per game. Rank: Caps goal rank. Leaders: Caps goal leaders. The chart contains Ovi’s game totals and stats through the Caps’ first 15 games of each season, and how he compares to teammates in terms of goals.

Alex Ovechkin’s All-Time NHL Goals Countdown