Capitals 2022-23 Report Cards: Alex Ovechkin

The Washington Capitals’ best player in franchise history is Alex Ovechkin, and this season was just another of his impressive performances. He continued to climb the leaderboard for the most goals in NHL history and was the team’s best player all season. Some fans will pick on his defensive ability, but he improved that slightly this season, so it’s tough to find any holes in his game from this past year.

It’s always fun to watch Ovechkin play. No matter the game or result he is always able to have an impact on the scoresheet. With that being said, here is his 2022-23 report card.

Biggest Positive: Goals

It’s hard not to think of goals when you think of Ovechkin and rightfully so, as he is now second all-time in total goals, 74 behind the greatest of all time, Wayne Gretzky. At the ripe age of 37, Ovechkin has shown he can put the puck in the net with ease, scoring 42 more this season.

Related: Capitals 2022-23 Report Cards: Sonny Milano

His offensive output as an individual is impressive in itself, but being able to lead on and off the ice has turned Ovechkin into an all-time great, and even though the Capitals as a whole weren’t very strong and failed to make the playoffs, he still had solid performances night in and night out.

Anything could’ve been said for Ovechkin’s biggest positive this season, ranging from his defensive improvements to his continued physicality, but his goalscoring continues to be the number one factor he brings to the team each season. He even broke the record for most 40-goal seasons with 13, surpassing Gretzky’s 12.

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His leadership could’ve been his biggest positive as well. Leading a struggling team that had high hopes at the beginning of the season has to be tough for everyone in the dressing room, so props to him for keeping everyone focused on playing their best each night.

Biggest Spot To Improve: Continued Defensive Accountability

Ovechkin improved leaps and bounds this season when it came to his defensive game, but if he wants to help lead his team back to the promised land and win his second Stanley Cup, he’ll need to continue tightening it up in his own end. He’s often called out by fans for being lazy on the back check and not picking up his assignment in the defensive zone, but there were fewer problems this season.

Alex Ovechkin Washington Capitals
Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

It’s easy to pin the team’s failures on the most popular player when he didn’t play every game, but when you sit down and look at Ovechkin’s play, he was solid all around. It was tough to actually choose a “negative” aspect of his game because I think he was the team’s most valuable player, but he can always improve defensively.

Key Stats

  • 1.03 points per game average through 73 games
  • 14.3% shot percentage
  • 42 goals scored

Final Grade: A

As I mentioned, Ovechkin was the team’s best player this season. He was doing what he did best by scoring plenty of goals, putting up points with added assists, and improving his defensive game. He wasn’t up there with some of the NHL’s best in the league which drops him below an A+ for me, but he is still well deserving of an “A” grade.

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A+ will be the highest grade I give any player on the team this season, and likely the only one getting an “A”. He played consistently all season with no nights off except for his injuries and I expected nothing less.

What’s Next For Ovechkin?

Ovechkin is close to the end of his career, so he’s just going to be dialed in and focused on winning at least one more Stanley Cup before he hangs up his skates for good. No one really knows his plans after his contract expires, so let’s just enjoy his greatness while he is still around. I expect next season to be no different for Ovi, and I would predict a 50-goal season if he is able to stay healthy.