As he has routinely been for much of the past decade, Washington’s Alex Ovechkin was the NHL’s most exceptional goal scorer again in 2017-18. This year, however, his league-leading 47 goals scored didn’t quite measure up to his other recent seasons.
Ovechkin’s total translated to a 3.10 Z Score among the season’s top 60 goal producers. It was the fifth time since 2012-13 and seventh time overall that Ovechkin has produced the best Z Score among goal producers. But it was also his lowest Z Score among those seven league-leading seasons, although it was also a higher Z Score than any produced by any other NHL goal-scorer since Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos produced a 4.62 during the 2011-12 season.
Ovechkin’s score was the 27th highest ever recorded by a goal scorer. He is already represented six times among the top 25 – three times among the top 10 – his best being a 4.23 Z Score in 2015-16 that ranks sixth all time.
Here is a list of the NHL’s 10 most exceptional goal scoring seasons of all time based on Z Score:
Rank Player Season Team Z Score
1 Wayne Gretzky 1983-84 Edmonton Oilers 4.76
2 Steven Stamkos 2011-12 Tampa Bay Lightning 4.62
3 Wayne Gretzky 1981-82 Edmonton Oilers 4.52
4 Brett Hull 1990-91 St. Louis Blues 4.39
5 Phil Esposito 1970-71 Boston Bruins 4.29
6 Alex Ovechkin 2015-16 Washington Capitals 4.23
7 Pavel Bure 1999-00 Florida Panthers 4.16
8 Alex Ovechkin 2013-14 Washington Capitals 4.08
9 Alex Ovechkin 2014-15 Washington Capitals 4.08
10 Brett Hull 1991-92 St. Louis Blues 4.07