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Scott Cullen

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Alex Ovechkin is an all-time great; Sharp, Faksa, Hellebuyck and more in Scott Cullen’s Statistically Speaking.

Washington Capitals sniper Alex Ovechkin scored a goal and added two assists in a 4-1 win at Montreal. The goal was Ovechkin’s 544th of his career, tying him with Habs legend Maurice Richard for 29th all-time.

Ovechkin is just 31-years-old, though, so his goal production isn’t done, and he’s been scoring like this in an era of far fewer goals per game.

But, using adjusted goal totals, Ovechkin already ranks 11th while playing 878 games.

On an adjusted goals per game basis, Ovechkin holds the lead among all scorers that have at least 500 adjusted goals.

 

ADJUSTED GOALS/GAME LEADERS (MIN. 500 ADJ. GOALS)

 
PLAYER GP G ADJ. G ADJ. G/GP
Alex Ovechkin 879 544 645 0.73
Mario Lemieux 915 690 616 0.67
Maurice Richard 978 544 653 0.67
Brett Hull 1269 741 738 0.58
Gordie Howe 1767 801 925 0.52
Phil Esposito 1282 717 671 0.52
Jean Beliveau 1125 507 575 0.51
Teemu Selanne 1451 684 741 0.51
Wayne Gretzky 1487 894 758 0.51
Peter Bondra 1081 503 549 0.51
Bobby Hull 1269 741 644 0.51
Jaromir Jagr 1671 756 837 0.50
Keith Tkachuk 1201 538 584 0.49
Marian Hossa 1273 515 599 0.47
Joe Sakic 1378 625 643 0.47
Frank Mahovlich 1181 533 550 0.47
Jarome Iginla 1513 616 702 0.46
Luc Robitaille 1431 668 652 0.46
Marcel Dionne 1348 731 610 0.45
Joe Nieuwendyk 1257 564 560 0.45
Mats Sundin 1346 564 599 0.45
Brendan Shanahan 1524 656 672 0.44
Dino Ciccarelli 1232 608 530 0.43
Steve Yzerman 1514 692 644 0.43
Mike Gartner 1432 708 609 0.43
 

Note, Ovechkin’s per-game scoring rate should decrease over time, because it happens as players get further away from their peak years but, as we evaluate the all-time scorers today, Ovechkin is quite comfortable hanging in elite company.

HEROES

Patrick Sharp – The 35-year-old Stars winger has battled through injuries this season, and broke out with a goal and two assists in a 6-4 win at Los Angeles. He had a goal and two assists in his previous 14 games this season.

Radek Faksa – The second-year centre for the Stars had three assists at Los Angeles, giving him seven points (2 G, 5 A) in the past nine games. 

Connor Hellebuyck – Winnipeg’s netminder posted a 28-save shutout in a 2-0 win over Calgary; a good recovery as he had a .891 save percentage in his previous four starts. 

ZEROES

Alec Martinez and Jake Muzzin – Despite favourable possession stats (17 for, 11 against, 60.7 CF%, 7-10 scoring chances), the Kings defence pair was on the ice for four goals against at even strength in a 6-4 loss to Dallas. 

Bobby Farnham – The agitating winger, who was recently called up from the AHL, was on the wrong side of the puck (2 for, 14 against, 12.5 CF%, 0-8 scoring chances) against Washington.

Kari Lehtonen – The rough times continue for the Stars netminder who allowed four goals on 21 shots before getting pulled in a 6-4 win at Los Angeles. In his past three games, Lehtonen has a .838 save percentage.

Peter Budaj – The Kings goaltender struggled in a 6-4 loss to Dallas, giving up five goals on 22 shots. It was the first time in 35 games this season that he allowed more than four goals against. He has a .916 save percentage in those 35 games, which is more than adequate for a journeyman who last played more NHL games in the 2010-2011 season.

VITAL SIGNS 

Denis Malgin – Florida’s rookie centre suffered an upper-body injury after he was boarded by Devils rookie Pavel Zacha

SHORT SHIFTS

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Vincent Trocheck is leading the way for the Panthers.

Capitals centres Evgeny Kuznetsov and Nicklas Backstrom both had a goal and an assist in a 4-1 win at Montreal. Kuznetsov has 18 points (2 G, 16 A) in the past 17 games, and Backstrom has 25 points (9 G, 16 A) in the past 26 games…Panthers LW Jussi Jokinen and C Vincent Trocheck both contributed a goal and an assist in a 3-0 win at New Jersey. Jokinen had four points (2 G, 2 A) in the previous 23 games, but Trocheck has been good – he has eight points (4 G, 4 A) in the past seven games…Stars RW Jiri Hudler, C Tyler Seguin and C Devin Shore each had a goal and an assist in a 6-4 win at Los Angeles. It’s been a weird year for Hudler, who had no goals and two assists in his previous 15 games. Seguin has 19 points (8 G, 11 A) in the past 19 games and Shore had one goal and zero assists in his previous 10 games…Kings C Anze Kopitar and D Drew Doughty both had a goal and an assist in a 6-4 loss to Dallas. Kopitar had no goals and three assists in his previous 12 games and Doughty has five points (2 G, 3 A) in the past five games.

Panthers G Roberto Luongo posted a 28-save shutout in a 3-0 win at New Jersey, his 448 career win, which ranks fifth all-time…Devils G Cory Schneider had 26 saves on 27 shots in a 3-0 loss to Florida and has a .945 save percentage in his past five games, a slight upward move after a slow start.

FANTASY FOCUS

Time for some longshots – recently productive players that are owned in fewer than 20% of TSN leagues:

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Sven Baertschi has taken on more scoring responsibility in Vancouver.

Sven Baertschi – Even with no points in the past couple of games, the Canucks winger has 12 points (7 G, 5 A) in the past 13 games. Owned: 11.6%

Sebastian Aho – Carolina’s rookie winger is heating up, with 12 points (7 G, 5 A) in the past 15 games. Owned: 15.5%

Connor Brown – He’s overshadowed by other Maple Leafs rookies, but Brown is making the most of his increased role, putting up nine points (5 G, 4 A) in the past eight games. Owned: 13.1%

Tanner Pearson – There aren’t a lot of productive players in L.A. right now, but Pearson is one. He has eight points (4 G, 4 A) in the past nine games. Owned: 19.1%

Much of the data included comes from corsica.hockeystats.hockeyanalysis.com www.hockey-reference and www.naturalstattrick.com

Scott Cullen can be reached at scott.cullen@bellmedia.ca