For a minute there, Alexei Protas seemed like a good option on Ovechkin’s off wing.
By the Numbers
|11.8||time on ice per game|
|53.8||5-on-5 shot-attempt percentage|
|52.7||5-on-5 expected goal percentage|
|57.1||5-on-5 goal percentage|
Visualization by HockeyViz
About this visualization: This series of charts made by Micah Blake McCurdy of hockeyviz.com shows lots of information for the player over the season. A short description of each chart:
- Most common teammates during 5-on-5
- Ice time per game, split up by game state
- 5-on-5 adjusted shot attempts by the team (black) and opponents (red)
- 5-on-5 adjusted shooting percentage by the team (black) and opponents (red)
- Individual scoring events by the player
- 5-on-5 adjusted offensive (black) and defensive (red) zone starts
I don’t really understand what happened here. The Caps were beset by injuries early in the season, which allowed for the 21-year-old goliath to get a surprise spot on Washington’s top line with Alex Ovechkin. And the all-Russian combo kinda worked (Protas is Belarussian). Here’s how Ovechkin and Kuznetsov fared — measured in shot-attempt percentage, where 50 percent is even and higher is better — with various right winger.
Outside of those scant 37 minutes with Oshie, Protas seemed like the best of the many options Peter Laviolette tried in the slot. The Caps outscored opponents 5 to 2 as well, which is darn good (with Wilson they outscored opponents 28 to 17, nothing to sneeze at either).
But by December, the experiment was ended and in February Protas was returned to Hershey, where he scored 8 goals and 16 assists in 42 games. I suppose that Protas lost his spot as the team got healthy, but I’m not fully convinced that was the right move. At least, I think there’s some promise to this player at the NHL level, and I’m eager to see him get more looks next season and beyond.
Protas on RMNB
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) November 28, 2021
Are you 6′,6″? Because Protas is.
What made Ovechkin-Kuznetsov-Protas effective? Was it the Cyrillic alphabet or something else?
Lastly, Alexei or Aliaksei?
Read more: Japers Rink