Aug 7, 2014, 9:46 PM EST
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.
Nov 24, 2014, 2:35 AM EST
He was 84.
Nov 24, 2014, 1:14 AM EST
Suffered a lower body injury Thursday night.
Nov 24, 2014, 12:50 AM EST
Arizona was playing in the second game of a back-to-back.
Nov 23, 2014, 11:33 PM EST
Keeps the game tied 1-1 in the second.
Nov 23, 2014, 11:00 PM EST
Colorado returns to action on Tuesday night in Arizona.
Nov 23, 2014, 10:15 PM EST
Playing in his 1,000th NHL game tonight.
Nov 23, 2014, 9:15 PM EST
Didn’t get a penalty for bumping into the goaltender.
Nov 23, 2014, 8:58 PM EST
Scores his eighth of the season.
Nov 23, 2014, 8:45 PM EST
Was stretchered off the ice Saturday night.
Nov 23, 2014, 7:45 PM EST
Beauchemin and Perry have already missed games due to the disease this season.
Nov 23, 2014, 7:30 PM EST
Had two goals in two AHL games.
Nov 23, 2014, 7:00 PM EST
Chara placed on long-term injured reserve.
Nov 23, 2014, 6:25 PM EST
Paul Maurice irate with the penalty call.
Nov 23, 2014, 5:20 PM EST
Received a two minute boarding minor.
Nov 23, 2014, 5:03 PM EST
Not much of a margin for error for the banged-up B’s.
Nov 23, 2014, 4:14 PM EST
Seriously, this is pretty harsh.
Nov 23, 2014, 4:01 PM EST
He’s appeared in 737 consecutive games.
Nov 23, 2014, 3:45 PM EST
Sunday’s starting goalies.
Nov 23, 2014, 3:13 PM EST
He set up Tyler Seguin’s breakaway goal.
Nov 23, 2014, 12:51 PM EST
Good luck with that.
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