Skip to content

Ovechkin thinks very little of plus/minus

Aug 7, 2014, 9:46 PM EDT

Alex Ovechkin Getty Images

Alex Ovechkin won the Rocket Richard Trophy for the fourth time last season with 51 goals, but perhaps the statistic that sticks out most from his 2013-14 campaign is his minus-35 rating.

It was the worst in Washington by 14 points and third from the bottom in 2013-14. He also joined Toronto’s Phil Kessel as the only members of the top-10 goal scoring list to finish with a negative plus/minus rating.

He used that as ammunition when he was recently asked how he felt by the end of last season.

“I am very happy that I didn’t become the worst in the plus/minus category,” Ovechkin told SovSport in an interview translated by Puck Daddy. “I had minus-35. Steve Ott and Alex Edler jumped ahead of me. Can you imagine scoring 51 goals and getting minus-40? I would have made history!”

The interviewer brought up Sergei Gonchar‘s past criticism about the use of plus/minus and Ovechkin took that opportunity to expand on the point.

“With the help of the plus/minus contracts can be obtained,” the 28-year-old forward said. “Once our defenseman Jeff Schultz was plus-50. He was plus-5 in the last game. And he signed a contract for four years averaging $2.75 million [Ovechkin makes big eyes]. And then his contract was bought out, and he signed for only $700,000 a year. Jeff is a good guy. But these plus/minus stats say very little about a player himself or the game as a whole.”

While plus/minus might not always be a great reflection of how a player performed, it is fair to say that the Capitals as a team had defensive issues last season. They hope some of that will be addressed by allowing goaltender Braden Holtby to play a style that he’s more comfortable with, the additions of defensemen Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpik, and bringing in Barry Trotz to serve as the team’s head coach.

That last change will impact Ovechkin, but for now he’s taking a wait-and-see approach. He acknowledged it’s difficult to change, but he’s been through this several times over the last few years, so he knows what to expect.

Latest Posts
  1. B’s Lucic admits his wrist isn’t fully healed

    Sep 16, 2014, 12:45 AM EDT

    Boston Bruins v Detroit Red Wings - Game Three Getty Images

    “It’s turned the corner for the better as far as rehab has gone.”

  2. Video: Teravainen’s beautiful pass leaves Blackhawks fans beaming

    Sep 15, 2014, 11:45 PM EDT

    Dallas Stars v Chicago Blackhawks Getty Images

    It’s tremendous even if it was in a prospects game.

  3. Red Wings’ tryout invite Robinson is fully conscious after being hospitalized

    Sep 15, 2014, 9:49 PM EDT

    redwingslogo

    The team says he has “full movement” following a boarding hit.

  4. Habs’ Price expects to be 100 percent to start 2014-15

    Sep 15, 2014, 9:05 PM EDT

    Carey Price AP

    Some optimism about how his knee is feeling.

  5. With camp looming, DeKeyser’s anxious to reach deal with Detroit

    Sep 15, 2014, 5:30 PM EDT

    Danny DeKeyser, Matt Bartkowski AP

    “I still think something will get done before camp.”

  6. Report: Jets invite veteran goalie Taylor to camp

    Sep 15, 2014, 2:52 PM EDT

    DannyTaylor

    Former Kings, Flames netminder lands in an interesting spot.

  7. Detroit bringing Rome to camp on PTO

    Sep 15, 2014, 1:37 PM EDT

    AaronRomeDallas Getty Images

    Veteran guy, but not the righty Mike Babcock was looking for…

  8. Will the NHL publicize divers?

    Sep 15, 2014, 1:04 PM EDT

    Tomas Fleischmann, Kevan Miller Tomas Fleischmann, Kevan Miller

    Because it hasn’t yet decided if it will.

  9. Report: NHL, Epix network to partner on Winter Classic reality series

    Sep 15, 2014, 12:25 PM EDT

    Gary Bettman Gary Bettman

    Also includes a similar series dedicated to the Sharks-Kings outdoor game.

  10. Report: Wild co-owner contemplating stake in Isles

    Sep 15, 2014, 11:44 AM EDT

    Philip Falcone Philip Falcone

    That’s businessman and former Harvard hockey player, Phil Falcone.

  11. Kuemper’s ask? One-way, for $850K

    Sep 15, 2014, 10:33 AM EDT

    Darcy Kuemper AP

    The Wild want the flexibility of a two-way deal, however.

  12. Habs to play without captain for just second time in franchise history

    Sep 15, 2014, 10:09 AM EDT

    Max Pacioretty, Andrei Markov, PK Subban, Max Pacioretty, Andrei Markov, PK Subban,

    P.K. Subban, Andrei Markov, Tomas Plekanec and Max Pacioretty will all serve as alternates.

  13. MacTavish: Oilers can only go up after last season’s ‘debacle’

    Sep 15, 2014, 10:01 AM EDT

    Craig MacTavish AP

    If you think he might blame coach Dallas Eakins for Edmonton’s struggles in 2013-14, think again.

  14. Devils re-sign Gelinas (one year, $900K); Komisarek invited to camp

    Sep 15, 2014, 9:49 AM EDT

    NEWARK, NJ - NOVEMBER 15: Eric Gelinas #22 of the New Jersey Devils skates in an NHL hockey game against the Los Angeles Kings at Prudential Center on November 15, 2013 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Should be an interesting next few days in New Jersey.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. R. Johansen (1175)
  2. S. Bennett (1158)
  3. R. Malone (1151)
  4. J. Drouin (1141)
  5. K. Timonen (1130)