Welcome to Fact or Fiction, a series where the PDL crew takes a look at a topic in the NHL and discusses whether or not it will come to fruition. Some topics will be more divisive than others, so we hope you’ll check back and weigh in on the various Fact or Fiction conversations.
Alex Ovechkin silenced his critics and led the league in goals with 51 in 2013-14. After a few underwhelming seasons, he caught fire and was often the NHL’s most threatening offensive weapon. He bested Corey Perry, the man with the second-most goals in the NHL with 43, by eight goals.
Almost as soon as the Capitals’ season ended, fans turned their attention to 2014-15 and started asking how Ovechkin would follow up his strong effort. With a new system in place and the bar now raised, will Ovechkin be able to repeat as the NHL’s scoring leader?
And it is not Ovechkin’s fault. The Capitals have done nothing to help him. He has no elite playmakers to play with, and the Capitals have changed their coaching systems more than a teenage girl changes her Facebook profile pic. Couple those facts with a healthy Steven Stamkos looming, and it is a no-brainer.
GM Brian MacLellan hasn’t done much to upgrade the team this off-season other than the addition of new coach Barry Trotz, and Trotz hasn’t been able to coach someone with Ovie’s offensive ability in… ever? I’m not sure if the system will favor him, I’m pretty sure that his teammates don’t favor him, and like Derek said, Stamkos’ leg is all healed up. Factor in any improvement from Seguin, and Ovechkin’s going to have to work for another goal scoring title.
No way Alex Ovechkin leads the league in goals this year. The simple rationale as to why is because of Barry Trotz. There’s no indication that Trotz is capable of getting the most out of an offensive talent like Ovi and his system certainly doesn’t favor that type of production. That’s not to say that Ovechkin won’t continue to star offensively and produce like has throughout his career, but Trotz and his system will certainly allow another top tier goal scorer like a Steven Stamkos to get the edge in that department.
I’d love to take the other side of this conversation, but I can’t bring myself to do it. Ovechkin was great last year and it’d be awesome to see him repeat simply to keep the haters at bay. Unfortunately, the PDL crew did a great job summing things up. They did such a nice job that I’ll add just one point. Ovechkin won’t repeat simply because the pressure will be too much. He shined last year to the tune of 51 goals and effectively pushed all of our expectations for him this season that much higher. It may not be fair, but anything short of another 45+ goal season will be a disappointment.