Heat Map of OV's shooting

I just ran across this article on Ovechkin scoring, this year. The heat map itself is pretty cool; I wish I had the data to create the graphic.

But, the conclusions drawn in the writeup are, to my mind, reversing cause and effect. OV's heat map doesn't show a preponderance of stick-side, low goals because OV is most effective shooting there. It's entirely due to his position on the power play.

That is, he wasn't put in the left circle because that's where his shot goes most, he was put there because he's right handed, and has the best shot on the team. And the result of the system is that he frequently gets one-timers there where the goalie is still trying to get across the crease. To put it another way, the system frequently results in him shooting into a half-empty net, so of course that's the hot spot on the heat map.

I'd like to appeal to his heat map for non-PP situations or to the one for prior seasons, but I don't have the data for those.

And if you'd like to draw conclusions for Hank being (one of) the best goalies for stopping OV, specifically, just look at their matchup history. There's enough games that you should be able to draw some fairly solid conclusions. Having trouble with career playoff stats, but OV has 16-15-31 in 31 career regular-season games. Hand-compiled playoffs: 9-8-17 in 19 games.

That puts OV's career vs Rangers at 25-23-48 in 50 games. Not bad numbers, but noticeably less than career numbers (particularly for the playoffs). So maybe there's at least a hint of truth to it. I guess we'll see when they play the actual games (assuming that ever happens).

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