Projecting Alex Ovechkin's Stats for 2013-14 Season
Six games in, Alex Ovechkin has been arguably the most dominant offensive player in the game, as the 28-year-old is among the league leaders in virtually all scoring categories.
It's far too early to tell where the Caps will be in the standings by league's end, but assessing what kind of numbers Ovechkin will finish with is slightly easier to predict.
Here's an early look at what kind of numbers the Russian sniper will post in his quest for his second consecutive and fourth overall Hart Trophy.
Last season, Ovechkin notched a league-high 32 goals in 48 games, which put him on pace to score 54 goals over a full 82-game campaign.
And so far, with the Capitals power play firing on all cylinders, Ovechkin's got six goals in six games, so at least early on, he looks like he's picked up right where he left off last season.
But Ovechkin is certainly prone to lengthy slumps, and though he's historically endured them during the early stages of the season, if Nicklas Backstrom struggles, so too will Ovechkin.
Overall though, Ovechkin should be a lock to end up with somewhere between 45-55 goals, with a solid third of them coming with the extra man.
Prediction: 48 goals
During each of the last two seasons, Ovechkin has posted more goals than assists, and if he continues to play alongside a pair of playmaking Swedes in Backstrom and Marcus Johansson, that trend seems to be a reasonably safe bet to continue in 2013-14.
Given that Backstrom is normally good for 20-25 goals and Johansson (currently scoreless this season) is wildly unpredictable in the scoring department, Ovechkin won't put up more than 30 even-strength helpers.
But the power play, especially with the addition of Mikhail Grabovski, is where Ovechkin could pad his assist totals, so it's logical to think that he'll rack up close to 40 assists.
Prediction: 41 assists, 89 points
Last year, Ovechkin scored exactly half of his 32 goals on the power play, and he's been just as deadly in that regard this season with a league-leading three markers with the extra man.
Since 2005-06, Ovechkin's had two seasons with 20 or more power-play goals, and considering how lethal Washington's top unit has been since Adam Oates took over behind the bench, one has to think that he's got a very good chance at posting a career-high in that category this season.
With Grabovski, Mike Green and Troy Brouwer all providing Backstrom with secondary options, Ovechkin's found himself open more often than in the past, and that will likely mean more scoring chances for the three-time Rocket Richard winner.
Prediction: 23 power-play goals
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