Lost in the hoopla of the Capitals’ Game Five win is more staggering evidence that Alex Ovechkin is an elite postseason player.
Early in the third period of Game Five, Ovechkin scored his 46th career postseason goal, which now ranks him third all-time among all Russian born players.
— StatsCentre (@StatsCentre) May 7, 2017
Ovechkin trails Sergei Fedorov and fellow 2004 draft pick Evgeni Malkin by six goals despite playing in 89 and 39 fewer playoff games respectively.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) May 7, 2017
And despite headlines and false narratives to the contrary, Ovechkin has been the Capitals most dependable player during the team’s last nine appearances in the playoffs.
According to @averagecapsfan, Ovechkin, among players who have scored the largest percentage of their teams’ playoff goals, ranks second all time.
When including assists, Ovechkin only trails Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux.
Perhaps it’s the rest of the team that has failed to get the Capitals over the hump and past the second round of the playoffs. Ovi has 20 points in 19 career elimination games. He also has 90 points in 95 career postseason games. According to the NHL’s PR, Ovechkin averages nearly a point and a half per game against the Penguins in the playoffs.
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) May 7, 2017
Saturday night during the second intermission, NBCSN’s Mike Milbury was asked to describe Ovechkin’s performance in Game Five. At that point in the contest, Ovechkin led all skaters with five hits after being demoted to the third line.
“It’s not good,” NBC’s Mike Milbury said as transcribed by the Washington Post’s Dan Steinberg. “This is the third consecutive game where the Great Eight has just reduced his name to Average Eight. This is not a great player that we’re watching here. This is a player that can’t find his way, looks to be totally consumed by his own thoughts. … This is not good enough from Alex Ovechkin, and some of it comes from a lack of effort. Maybe he’s overthinking, but he’s running out of time.”
Or maybe Ovechkin, because he’s the team’s best player, is the easiest person to blame and Milbury is the one who is actually lazy.