Question: How do you stop Daniel Sedin from scoring goals?
Answer: Deny his brother the puck.
Question: How do you stop Alex Ovechkin from scoring goals?
Answer: You can't.
Or at least so posits The Forechecker, who has compiled two lists, one which shows a goal scorer's "reliance on a particular teammate for the 1st assist on their goals" and the other which details who relied the least on a specific teammate setting him up.
The theory that follows, then, is that in order to shut down the scorers on the first list, perhaps it's best to stifle their set-up men, while the guys on the second list "seem to be more adaptable in creating shots for themselves and deserve the full attention of an opposing defense."
The results are interesting, especially the Caps-related findings. For example, Dainius Zubrus was the sixth-most reliant goal scorer, with AO getting the primary assist on 11 of his 24 goals (45.8%). We knew that leaving Alex's side would hurt Zubie's assist totals, but look for his goal total to take a bit of a dip as well.
On the other end of the spectrum, the Caps' two Alexes scored their goals no matter who was feeding them the biscuit, as Ovechkin and Alex Semin finished 10th and 13th, respectively, on the "independence" list (and second and third amongst 30+ goal scorers). Chris Clark also made that second list.
Of course, chemistry is by no means a bad thing, and I'd expect both Ovechkin and Semin to become more reliant on their new pivots in the season ahead. After all, that's the idea, isn't it?