Ken Campbell at The Hockey News had something on the Caps this morning. These two paragraphs caught my eye.
I thought (and still do think) that these are ridiculous comments. My biggest issue was the line about Kuznetsov/Johansson/Williams being the Caps' "best line in the series". But I also thought the line about the Pens being more worried with Williams, Oshie, and Johansson than Ovechkin was a head-shaker. So I worked some MSPaint magic, and tweeted about it here.
Now I'm hardly the guy who's likely to rush in and defend Ovi's even-strength production. I just wrote an article a few weeks ago highlighting that, while still a scoring god, his goal production has been carried more and more by his power play production over recent years. [#ShadowOvechkin]. But I dislike most of the mainstream hockey media, and it's inability (or unwillingness) to keep up with modern hockey analysis.
Campbell's response suggests that he thinks Ovi's 1 "even strength" goal "the past two months" is evidence that Ovechkin isn't that dangerous at 5v5. [I assume he's also taking into account Ovechkin's play in the Toronto series, where he had 3 goals, 2 of which were on the PP]. So is there something to this idea of Ovechkin not being a good even-strength player lately, or is Campbell just looking at some recent results and making broad conclusions?
The following is a chart showing Ovechkin's rank among some individual scoring categories, among the 12 Capitals forwards playing over 100 5v5 minutes the "past two months" (technically, February 24 through April 24). Data from Corsica.hockey as usual.
I see a lot of 1s on the individual shot metric stats, and a lot of lower numbers on the per-60 production stats, and, surprise surprise, terrible shooting percentages (11th of 12 for individual shooting percentage (iSh%) and individual Corsi shooting percentage (iCSh%)). Reminder that iSh% is shooting percentage for shots on goal, and iCSh% is shooting percentage for all shot attempts (including those that don't hit the net and are blocked). Ovi's iSh% for this period: 2.60%. His iCSh%: 1.32%
And while these are less directly under Ovechkin's control, the following chart shows Ovi's rank among those Fs for some team metrics.
Again, a lot of top-3 ranks, except for team on-ice shooting percentage (10th of 12). His team S% for this period: 5.74%.
So what difference does it make?
It took me 15 minutes to go to Corsica, run a custom query to get this data, and rank it in Excel. Doesn't Ken Campbell have an intern? Or is it more likely that he's just the latest example of a long-term hockey media guy who looks at a few results, throws some "modern-sounding" stuff like "5v5" in an article, and wastes all of your reading time. I guess we'll never know.
...Again I'm right in my analysis.