Thursday, February 22, 2007

Why does Ovechkin suck in Fantasy Hockey

In case some of you haven't figured it out yet, I live in Toronto (well Mississauga, but close enough) and we got dumped on this morning.

My morning drive to Guelph usually takes about 35 minutes, including a stop for coffee at Second Cup. Today it took me over an hour just to get that coffee.

As a result my day is a little sluggish, slow and unproductive. Much like Alexander Ovechkin has been of late.

Ovechkin has gone pointless in his last 4 games and only has 2 points in his last 9. He is also a -3 in that stretch with only 4 penalty minutes. Is this a sign of things to come from the Russian wunderkind? Or is this just a blip on the fantasy radar for one of the most exciting players to hit the NHL in recent memory.

Here are some quick facts for you:
In his last 9 games Ovechkin has only two points and 31 shots on goal
In his previous 9 games he had 11 points and 38 shots on goal
In the 9 games previous to that he had 12 points and 50 shots on goal

Ovechkin's point production has certainly suffered over the last month, but more frightening is his shots on goal total. If a player doesn't shoot he can't score. Quite often offensively talented players go through slumps, most pundits will look at the shots on goal category as a gauge of what the problem is. If the shot totals are still up, the points will come back.

Looking at Ovechkin's monthly totals should make any of his fantasy hockey owners shake in their boots.

Month G A Pts SOG
Feb 2 1 3 34
Jan 7 13 20 61
Dec 6 17 23 76
Nov 12 5 17 66
Oct 6 8 14 65

The drastic drop in Alex's point production looks to be directly correlated with the number of shots he is taking.

I know, I know. February isn't over yet. The Capitals played 12 games in January and have already played 10 in February. Those numbers are close enough that we can predict that his shot (and point) totals will be the lowest of his career.

Last year Oveckin put up 3 goals and 2 assists in February with 43 shots on goal, in only 6 games.

If you own Ovechkin and someone has been banging on your door all season trying to acquire him, right now might be a good time to trade him for a higher producing player.

Unless you are in a keeper fantasy league of course. In a keeper there is a very short list of names that should even make you think about trading him for Crosby's sake! (for example)

If you are going to hold onto him (or you just traded for him like I did) keep an eye on his shot totals. If he is consistently average upwards of 5 shots per game you can expect to see an increase in his point totals around the corner. His February shots per game average is only 3.4, if that doesn't go up consider making a move this season.

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