Disappointment, Bad Luck, or Real Level? Taking Apart Ovechkin’s Season

The world’s best hockey player in career shots failed to hit the goal line in two consecutive games for the first time in 19 years. The best goal scorer of our time has scored two pucks in 12 games. The second sniper in hockey history has not scored in 14 consecutive games for the first time.

Despite being one of the most consistent scorers in hockey history, Alexander Ovechkin’s unexpected dip in performance this season reminds fans and bettors alike of the unpredictability inherent in sports. For those looking to navigate the volatile world of sports betting, staying informed with up-to-date insights and odds is crucial. Visit rg.org to explore comprehensive sportsbook ratings tailored for discerning bettors.

This article will delve into the details of Ovechkin’s challenging season, examining what these developments could signify for his future

How Has This Hockey Year Been Memorable for Gretzky’s Chief Rival?

He also breaks Wayne Gretzky’s record for most goals into an empty net, the record for consecutive seasons with 20+ pucks from the start of his career, the record for the most consecutive seasons with 30+ goals, Gretzky’s record for the most regular-season meetings with pucks, and the record for the most goals in five games for a 38+-year-old player.

Heroically leads the team at the most crucial time of the year and helps lead the team to the playoffs.

Fails and is ignominiously eliminated from the playoffs in four games.

These are just a few of Alexander Ovechkin’s most important milestones in the 2023/2024 season. In a season that turned out to be extremely controversial.

How Can You Evaluate This Season for Ovechkin?

Ovechkin entered the 2023/2024 campaign as an elite sniper who only put 42 pucks on the board in a very difficult championship season due to injuries, the loss of his father, and Washington’s failures. As the leader of a team that failed to make the playoffs for the first time in years.

Expectations were high—very high. Ovi is still in good shape, Washington has a new coach and fresh ideas, reliable teammates like Nicklas Bäckström, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and John Carlson are in the lineup, and there is a new Russian in the company—Ivan Miroshnichenko. And the desire to explain themselves on the ice for last year’s failure to qualify for the playoffs amid a lackluster team performance should have prevailed.

Not to mention the pursuit of Gretzky’s greatest record, which is already visible to the naked eye….

All these expectations were shattered in the first few games.

Ovechkin failed in the opening games against Pittsburgh (0:4) and Calgary (3:2 B), failing to score or even throw a single shot on goal.

The first goal had to wait until the fifth game of the season. Did the breakthrough come after that? No.

Alex scored twice in 12 matches. He scored his first double in the 13th match. In the 15th, he scored his fifth goal of the season. And after that, he could not hit the opponents’ goal in 14 (!) games in a row. This result was the worst in Ovechkin’s career. As a result, only six pucks were scored in 30 games since the start of the championship.

The statistics were not even the main reason for sadness. Much more disappointing was Ovie’s play itself. Washington’s captain seemed insanely heavy, clumsy, and slow on the ice. His intimidating shot just stopped working. He didn’t look so powerful, fast, and sharp anymore. It was as if he didn’t carry any danger for the goalies.

And What Did This Season Make You Think About?

Physical problems were overlaid with bad luck. Several times, goals were cancelled, Ovie failed to hit from the penalty kill, or goalies did something unimaginable (this problem will stretch throughout the season—just remember the three super saves by Edmonton goalie Stuart Skinner in the March game when Washington lost 2-7).

The loss of Nicklas Bäckström, who had already decided to quit hockey temporarily due to injury at the start of the season, was also a serious blow for Ovechkin.

As Alexander noted, he was also pressured by the fear of a possible trade in the winter: “What did I feel when I had eight goals in January? I was afraid that I would be traded. Thank God I continue to play for Washington. To be honest, it was a difficult period. The whole team was dealing with injuries, the lineups were changing. We were figuring out how to do my job better, score points, and score goals. But even when I didn’t score, the team fought for wins. A lot of our players didn’t have their best season, we were adjusting to the system.”