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Poll: Is this Alex Ovechkin's best season?

While writing my story for today's Post, I spent a lot of time looking at Alex Ovechkin's career statistics. And that got me thinking: which season really has been his best? If you read what I wrote, then you probably already know that I feel this is it, not only because of numbers but because of the growth in his overall game. But here's your chance to weigh in.

By the way, I'm taking the day off today. But Gene Wang will be out at KCI to provide updates from this morning's practice and write a story for tomorrow's paper.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 22, 2010; 8:46 AM ET
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Next: Caps get ready for stretch run


I've gotta go with last season just because of the suspensions this season...but his complete game is much better than it was last season (hence an awesome +/-) I really hope he gets the 50 mark again.

Does anybody think he could win MVP this year...he is clearly the best player in the league, but all the press and the fact that Washington is good even without him might make it hard.

Posted by: capscoach | March 22, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

He is having a great season, but I would be surprised if he got the MVP this year.

It sure is a great time to be a Caps fan.

Waiting until Wedenesday for the next game is TORTURE!


Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | March 22, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

I've got to go with 07-08 and the 65 goals. He carried this team and was just unstoppable. Despite all of the attention he's getting for his "all around" game this year...I can't pass up 65 goals. If he was on pace for 60 Goals this year...then okay. But at this rate he'll be lucky to get 50 unless he turns it up.

Posted by: DisgustedinArlington | March 22, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Fellas, I need some advise. To my horror, I just realized I'll be in Italy btw April 17-24 and will 3-4 games...what's the best strategy? Bring a laptop and stream the games or hide from all news and record the games and watch them when I get home...? Assuming they can be streamed from Italy?

Posted by: jakopz | March 22, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

I'd have to say the 65 goal year was OV's best year. I think OV is MVP this season, but I think how he plays against in the 2 games against Pittsburgh will really win/lose it for him.

jakopz: You gotta watch games in Italy. Trying to hide from the results is both really hard, and really sucks. Find the games online or in a bar!

Posted by: aglatfelter | March 22, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

I'll have the same problem...I'll be in europe May 14-20. Figuring I'll miss a few playoff games. Hopefully I'll return and the Caps will be set for the finals.

Posted by: cappies | March 22, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

I don't want him to win the MVP. He won it last year only to watch Crosby lift the Cup.

Let someone else take the Hart and leave the big one for Ovie and the Caps!

Posted by: Devo2 | March 22, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Regardless of whether or not this is his best all around year, I will be very surprised if he wins MVP this season. All the sportswriters piling on him over the last few weeks would like nothing better than to make an example out of him and get more copy out of it.

Posted by: amberlynne | March 22, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

For jakopz:

When my husband travels he takes his laptop and uses slingbox to watch the games. It's hooked up to our tv/satellite at home and he then logs on to watch the games anywhere on the road.

Posted by: Lisa123 | March 22, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Crosby is the MVP he has led him team to

loss vs Phoenix
0-6 vs the Devils
1 out of 4 points vs the Caps
Loss vs L.A
Loss vs San Jose
OT loss to Chicago
Loss vs Vancouver
OT loss to Nashville

basically, they laid eggs vs top teams. MVP for Sid..

Posted by: SA-Town | March 22, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Since Alexander Ovechkin was named Captain, the Capitals have gone 24-3-4 over the last 31 games.

Despite missing 9 games, he's on pace for his career best in points and is the league leader in goals, points, and +/-.

I think this is his best year so far.

Posted by: Joran | March 22, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Slingbox is the way to go.

I'm going to say this season simply because he leads in all of those categories considering he's missed 10 games.

Posted by: gocaps99 | March 22, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

OV is having a tremendous season this year, he's got 97 points in 62 games. He's a .75 goals/game and over 1.5 points/game which is absolutely crazy. However, the team as a whole is as good as it's ever been since OV joined the Caps so in terms of individual performance, I can't say it's his best year. That being said, I think his best year was the Comeback Year (07-08). The man broke a record for most goals scored by a LW (65) and he scored alot of those goals with a one on one shot that just beat goalies who knew all he was going to do is shoot. He had two 4 goal games and 3 hat tricks. I think this was the year when it became apparent Ovechkin is the best player in the world, bar none. We rode on his shoulders that year to get to the playoffs.

Posted by: alee06 | March 22, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

This is the caps best season since AO came here, but that doesn't make it AO's best season. This season has seen numerous players on the team step up. Backstrom, Fleischman, Fehr, Knuble, etc. There are just so many weapons on this team... This is no longer a 1-man team.

I think when you look at the team's record without Ovechkin, it's hard to argue that he's the MVP. They've been just as good without him as with him. 2 years ago, he strapped a young team to his back and carried them into the playoffs. IMO, that was his best season.

Posted by: zyvo23 | March 22, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

He'll be a finalist for the Hart, but he'll miss out this year. He'll win the Pearson, though.

Three years of Backstrom, three years Ovechkin is a Hart finalist. It's no conicidence.

Posted by: JohninMpls | March 22, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

His best season is the season when he wins the Stanley Cup!

Posted by: joeshred | March 22, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

I think when you look at the team's record without Ovechkin, it's hard to argue that he's the MVP. They've been just as good without him as with him. 2 years ago, he strapped a young team to his back and carried them into the playoffs. IMO, that was his best season.

Posted by: zyvo23 | March 22, 2010 11:23 AM |

Can't argue with your sound points but I would like to add that this year, the team will most likely win the President's trophy & hopefully go deep in the playoffs.
& an MVP ultimately is measured by team success & how deep that success will run.
& when the other team focuses so much of their energy to stop 1 player, it usually opens up the ice for every1 else & makes every1 else better for that matter.

With all the negativity that is heaped on this Captain & his team by some so-call supporters, I will be glad when the Cup is lifted & thrown in their faces by Ovie.

Posted by: Rocc00 | March 22, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

I hope Ovi can step it up come playoff times, then we can truly say he was the MVP this year. Did anyone else see the questionable boarding calls against Tampa Bay? TB players would turn their back last minute knowing they were about to get hit, hence boarding calls. Is this something we are going to expect more and more when facing opposition. More drawing penalties and then some resulting suspensions?

Posted by: RuskiSi | March 22, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Even if they turn their backs, they risk too many things:
1) puck possesion leads to goals
2) getting off their own game
3) they loss 3-1

Posted by: Rocc00 | March 22, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

If you look at the numbers, it's hard to argue that anyone else is the MVP. Backstrom matches Crosby in total points, Sedin blows him away, and Miller hasn't been dominant enough to give it to a goalie. I think Sedin is the one legitimate competitor, having a big edge in +- and assists over Crosby (who's only +9) and being right there with Ovi in points. Ovi scores a lot more goals though and has a ~10 point edge in +- AND plays for the winningest team in the league.

My ballot:
1. Ovechkin
2. Sedin
3. Miller
4. Backstrom

Posted by: butcherbaker | March 22, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

@RuskiSi -- by definition the Hart trophy is only for regular season play.

Posted by: butcherbaker | March 22, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

@butcherbaker - I know and understand this, hence why I state, truly an MVP in the post season.

Posted by: RuskiSi1 | March 22, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

There's a separate award for that :). Here's hoping he wins both (and hence the Cup).

Posted by: butcherbaker | March 22, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

"I think when you look at the team's record without Ovechkin, it's hard to argue that he's the MVP."

You can pick apart every candidate if you want to cherry pick like that. If you look at the Caps record in games without Ovechkin more closely you realize that they are still a lot better with him.

Let's take a look at the games he missed:
Florida W
Florida W
Florida W
Florida W
NY Islanders W
Minnesota W
New Jersey L (playoff team)
New Jersey L (playoff team)
Philadelphia W (playoff team)
Carolina L OT

So, essentially we have beaten bad teams and lost to New Jersey. Wins against teams like Florida, Carolina and the Islanders don't show that we can win without Ovechkin. Wins against New Jersey do. Against Philly and New Jersey we have a winning percentage of .333. With Ovechkin it's .800. And the even the win against Philly without Ovechkin comes with the caveat that it was the Flyers first game under a new coach.

Posted by: ouvan59 | March 22, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget that they beat Chicago essentially without Ovechkin.

Posted by: RuskiSi1 | March 22, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

He's been on the ice for 36 goals agains vs. 82 last year & 67 the year before that according to BB.

Like ouvan59 said - you can spin stats to suit your arguments.

The fact of the matter is: Ovie is the best player on the best team so far this year.

Posted by: Rocc00 | March 22, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

This has been his best season so far. He has continued to mature and has increasingly contributed to the Caps on new levels, such as in assists, playmaking and defense. And as a captain, he has increased his leadership and helped maintain team cohesion and morale. Hard to argue against those intangibles. The fact that the team elevates its level without him when he has been injured or suspended is a testament to his leadership for as the other players have stated, they want to take the pressure Ovie's shoulders and vindicate him when he has faced suspensions. The team has played better with our without Ovie on the ice because of his great influence and inspiration. When Ovie is not on the ice, the players play with him in mind. Crosby who?

Posted by: Irreverent_inDC | March 22, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

I believe that people are going to confuse "best" with the "most unexpected". Ovechkin broke out with 65 goals a couple of years ago and the Caps made a huge push to make the playoffs. This year seems almost expected even though Ovechkin has improved in nearly every area statistically. I'm worried that voters this year are viewing it the same way. Even though Crosby is down in almost every statistical category his goals have gone up selling the illusion that he is having a good year when he severely down in every category but goals.

Posted by: ouvan59 | March 22, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

question? Is the hart trophy awarded to the "most valuable player of the league" or the "most valuable player to his team"? I hope you understand my question and see the difference!

Posted by: Walle | March 22, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Ovie's only getting better every season. How scary is that for other teams?

Posted by: farmgirl19C | March 22, 2010 11:29 PM | Report abuse

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