When you're a player who has recorded 10 career Hat Tricks, fans tend to always be on the lookout for number 11. For Alex Ovechkin, that illusive eleventh Hat Trick happened Saturday night in front of a National (Canadian) audience. For most players, scoring goal #3 into an empty net would simply illicit a few fist bumps and helmet taps. For #8, the celebration was a bit more emotional.
Hat Tricks are a great way to break out of slumps or, in Ovechkin's most recent span between Hat Tricks, fall into one. Here are the numbers for Ovechkin, between the Tricks:
- 348 Days
- 76 Games Played (including playoffs)
- 29 Goals
- 52 Assists
- 81 Points
- 348 Shots on Goal
- 6 Power Play Goals
- 41-20-15 team record
- Nicklas Backstrom led the team in points, with 83 (on 25 goals and 58 assists) in 79 games
- Alex Semin led the team with 32 goals in 70 games
- Steven Stamkos led the league over that stretch, with 56 goals in 74 games
- Sidney Crosby (sorry) put up 50-70-120 numbers over his 77 games
While the numbers are solid for most NHL players, most Caps fans can understand why Alex was excited after netting his third. It's been a long, rough stretch from February 7th, 2010 to this past Saturday and hopefully this past game marks the beginning of a new, more successful run. In the 10 games after Ovechkin has had a 3+ goal game, he has scored 4, 4, 9, 5, 9, 7, 8 (including his next 3+ goal game), 6, 9 and 2 goals respectively.
I think we're all hoping for another one of those 9-in-10 stretches.