Alex Ovechkin: 2021-22 season review

In spite of John Scott, Alex Ovechkin scored fifty goals last season. And he’s about to turn 37 years old.

By the Numbers

77 games played
20.6 time on ice per game
50 goals
40 assist
49.8 5-on-5 shot-attempt percentage
48.3 5-on-5 expected goal percentage
55.1 5-on-5 goal percentage

Visualization by HockeyViz

About this visualization: This series of charts made by Micah Blake McCurdy of hockeyviz.com shows lots of information for the player over the season. A brief description of each chart:

  • Most common teammates during 5-on-5
  • Ice time per game, split up by game state
  • 5-on-5 adjusted shot attempts by the team (black) and opponents (red)
  • 5-on-5 adjusted shooting percentage by the team (black) and opponents (red)
  • Individual scoring events by the player
  • 5-on-5 adjusted offensive (black) and defensive (red) zone starts

Fan Happiness Survey

About this visualization: At three times during the season, RMNB shared an open survey with fans, asking the following question for each player:

On a scale from 1 to 5, how HAPPY are you to have this player on the team?

1 means VERY UNHAPPY TO HAVE THEM ON THE TEAM
2 means UNHAPPY
3 means NEITHER HAPPY NOR UNHAPPY
4 means HAPPY
5 means VERY HAPPY TO HAVE THEM ON THE TEAM

The numbers above show the average score for the player in each survey period.


exit interview


Peter’s take

Alex Ovechkin scored 50 goals this season. Any discussion of the player should begin and end with that fact.

Fifty goals by a 36-year-old is unprecedented in a sport where the peak scoring age is a decade younger than Alex is now. Fifty goals at age 36 is the biggest total ever by someone older than 35.

If you were banking on 2021-22 being the season where age catches up to Alex Ovechkin, you were wrong. But that’s not to say Ovechkin is invincible. He suffered a significant shoulder injury late in the season that cost him a few games and hampered him in the playoffs. And I don’t even know what to make of that “magic pill” comment, though that’s far from the most baffling statement from Ovechkin this season. I’ll leave that discussion for the comments.

Looking below the goal level, Ovechkin did see a drop-off in his offensive rates during five-on-five.

Generally I don’t worry about Ovechkin as long as he’s attempting around twenty shots per hour, which is like top five in the league. And I’m not ready to say this season’s apparent drop-off is something we can attribute to age decay. Ovechkin’s line with Kuznetsov didn’t really control play (virtually even at 50.1 percent), so his fractional decline may have more to do with missing a reliable play-driving winger on the other side of the ice. Either way, this is just a canary-in-the-coal-mine situation, poking around at chicken innards to see if Ovechkin’s goal-scoring is nearing an end. For now, it’s certainly not the case. After all, Alex Ovechkin scored 50 goals this season.


According to Orson Welles

His gifts are a goal scorer are enormous.  I just can't take him very seriously as a defensively responsible forward - and that's where we seem to differ, because he does.

Ovi on RMNB

Here we go.

  • Ovechkin took some maintenance days in January before fastening up to an upper-body injury.
  • Ovechkin was named Metro division captain for the ASG. Ovechkin would later have to bail on the ASG due to COVID protocol. Kirill Kaprizon gave Ovi an homage anyway.
  • Bruce Boudreau on how to counter Ovechkin: “You have to get in his face. It’s not a question of hitting him because the more you hit him — he’s like The Hulk — he gets stronger the anger he gets. You sort of want to let him sleep.”
  • Ovechkin on a Backstrom OTGWG: “I call it sexy goal.”
  • An Ovechkin shot dented Robin Lehner’s facemask. It like busted a weld.
  • On January 28, Ovechkin hugged Braden Holtby. This was important to me.
  • Ovi’s diet includes food from Subway. Me and Ovi are not the same after all.
  • On February 25, Ovechkin gave a press conference about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It was… well, it wasn’t at least a condemnation of the war, though it’s curious to see which people either thought it was or at least pretended it was.
  • Russophobia followed. A lot of it. Some booing in other arenas, though maybe that’s not new.
  • Ovechkin’s instagram profile photo has long been him with Russian president Vladimir Putin. That’s a very tough situation (that he put himself in).
  • MacLellan on Ovechkin’s situation re: Russia: “There is a lot of pressure to [have] a political opinion either way, and they’re trying to balance out how they live their lives, what their political opinions are, and the repercussions that could happen back home. It’s a difficult situation for these guys.”
  • Kuznetsov stole the goal that should has put Ovechkin ahead of Jagr.
  • On March 15, with his 767th goal, Ovechkin passed Jaromir Jagr for third all-time.
  • Throughout the chase, Jagr was an absolute gem.
  • Ovechkin’s family was in Russia during the milestone goal.
  • Improvisational goalie work.
  • The story of Alex Ovechkin’s 420th goal.
  • On April 21, Ovechkin scored his 50th and final goal of the season, tying Bossy and Gretzky for most 50-goal seasons ever.
  • Ovechkin has had five 50-goal seasons since the time Pierre McGuire said he would have no more 50-goal seasons.
  • A young fan with special needs wanted a photo at the glass with Ovechkin. Instead, Ovechkin gave him his stick.
  • The next day, Ovechkin suffered an upper-body injury. He missed the end of the regular season.
  • But he did have a big night at MSG nonetheless.
  • Ovechkin returned to play in the postseason. He scored a goal (just like he has in every other playoff series he’s been in).
  • On May 19, Ovechkin returned to Russia.
  • I’ll leave you with this piece by our friend Joel, who has been volunteering in Ukraine for he past few years.

your turn

On the ice: how many will he score next season, and in how many games? Off the ice: is it going to get worse before it gets better?


Read more: Japer’s Rink

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