As you know, heading into tonight's game against the Devils (against whom Alex has not yet scored this year and holds a career 0.27 goals per game average), Number Eight has 48 goals in 64 games on the season, meaning that in order to reach that magic number of sixty, he'll need to score a dozen goals in 18 games. Certainly not impossible - he has 13 goals in his last 18 games even with his current six-game goal-less drought, and obviously he's on a .75 goal-per-game pace for the season, which would net him 13 the rest of the way.
But Alex's numbers on this season and for his career suggest that he'll probably fall short of sixty. Here's the breakdown, based on career and 2007-08 average goals per game in different splits:
- Career against the opponents left on the schedule, totaled: 10.36
- 2007-08 against the opponents left on the schedule (2007-08 average against Western Conf. used for Western Conf. opponents left on the schedule), totaled: 9.81
- Career home/road applied to remaining home/road games, totaled: 11.58
- 2007-08 home/road applied to remaining home/road games, totaled: 13.5
- Career day/night applied to remaining day/night games, totaled: 11.34
- 2007-08 day/night applied to remaining day/night games, totaled: 11.89
- Career day-by-day applied to remaining schedule, totaled: 11.20
- 2007-08 day-by-day applied to remaining schedule, totaled: 11.98
- Career month-by-month applied to remaining schedule, totaled: 9.97
Well, he's got some tough opponents (for him, at least) left on the schedule, including three games against Zdeno Chara (who has always given him fits) and the Bruins - against whom he has just three goals in nine career games. And his late season numbers in his first two NHL seasons have dropped off big time - February, April and March have been his three worst months, goal-per-game-wise so far (though, to be sure, the Caps' deadline activities the last two years have something to do with that).
Bottom line: these numbers don't mean a whole hell of a lot other than to indicate what we already knew - scoring sixty goals this year is going to be tough, but doable for Ovechkin. Sorta like making the playoffs. And more likely than not, the two will go hand-in-hand - Alex is averaging exactly a goal-a-game in Caps wins this year, and only 0.54 in Caps losses.