The NHL Network is back with another list.
This time, the NHL Network weighed in on the best wingers in the league and Alex Ovechkin is not first.
My friends, I am a little skeptical.
So, what do you think? #NHLTopPlayers pic.twitter.com/dkK26mRH9G
— NHL Network (@NHLNetwork) August 12, 2019
Nikita Kucherov, who had 128 points during the 2018-19 season, ranked first after, sure, a phenomenal MVP campaign while Patrick Kane was second, which ok, whatever.
Ovechkin had 51 goals and 89 points – his best season since 2009-10. Ovechkin has scored 49 goals or more in five of the last six seasons. Kucherov has scored an average of 40 goals per season over the last three years.
The biggest differences between the two Russian wingers is that Ovi scores about 10 more goals per season and has won a Stanley Cup while Kucherov flamed out in the first round with the Lightning and tallies a ridiculous amount of points on the powerplay (48 to Ovechkin’s 28) – and in particular, power-play assists.
Here’s what the NHL had to say about Ovi being ranked third.
3. Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
Ovechkin scored 51 goals last season to lead the NHL for a record eighth time. It was the eighth season he scored at least 50 goals, trailing Wayne Gretzky and Mike Bossy (nine times each) for most in NHL history. The 33-year-old left wing had 89 points, the most he’s had since finishing tied for second in the NHL with 109 in 2009-10. Ovechkin, who won the Conn Smythe Trophy as Stanley Cup Playoff MVP in 2018 after helping the Capitals win the Cup for the first time, is 13th in NHL history with 658 goals.
“This guy just lives and breathes to score goals and he did it again this past season,” Rupp said. “There was no letdown from the prior year, winning the Stanley Cup, which is the biggest thing for me. You always have teams that have a little bit of a letdown, but you also have players that do. … He’s going to hit probably this next season, 700 goals.”
This writeup is basically a word salad of great things to say about a gr8 player than why Ovi’s ranked behind the other two.
It’s worth reminding that the rankings are made by who the NHL Network believes is the best right now. So Ovechkin is going into his age 34 season while Kucherov just had his best season as a pro at age 26.
Now, forgive me while I focus on another wings list. It’s lunch time and I’m hungry.
The only wing ranking that matters today pic.twitter.com/eN9tSLimgi
— Yahoo Sports NHL (@YahooSportsNHL) August 12, 2019
Headline photo: NHL Network
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