In the tight rocket Richard race, which player will win the goal-scoring title?

With an empty-net goal against the Winnipeg Jets last night, Austin Mathews became the first player to touch the 50 goal mark this season. Maple Leafs Center was also the top scorer last season, 41 taller in a concentrated 52-game season. If the year had been extended to the full length of 82 games, he would probably have broken that milestone last year as well.

In 2019-20, whoever was shortened (although the length varied around the 70-game mark), three forward games near that milestone: Alex Ovechkin (48), David Pasternak (48), and Matthews (47).

Rewind the last full season of 2018-19, there were two players to make at least 50 nets – Ovechkin and Drysitel.

This year, there will probably be more than two forwards to hit this mark. There’s Matthews, DrySittle is one away, and Craider is just four shy. There have not been three players to hit this marker in a single season since 2009-10.

But Ovechkin and Kyle Connor aren’t too far away either. There could be five 50-goal scorers at the end of the season, which has not been seen since 2005-06.

With a wealth of skilled goal scorers this season, WHO Will Rocket Richard finish at the top at the end of the year?

Let’s take a closer look.

Austin Mathews

With 50 goals in 62 matches, Mathews is on track to score 62 goals in 77 matches. He will be the first forward to make the Net 60 after Steven Stamcos in 2011-12. Although he missed the time, he topped the raw numbers And Factoring when ice time. In addition to the best goal rate, his expected goal generation is also at the top of the league.

We’ve analyzed whether the forward’s scoring has been sustainable several times this season, and there are encouraging signs. It has shot volume – 23.3 attempts which ranks sixth in the league in all situations – and quality, more than 59 percent coming from slots. No one shoots from that area of ​​ice at a rate higher than Matthews’ 13.8 per 60 attempts. As much as his shots are concentrated on the home plate in front of the crease, it doesn’t all come from the same place. So there is little speculation as to where he will shoot from.

No one creates the opportunity to score outside the cycle at a higher rate than Maple Leafs’ forwards, plus he can create a quality look from the rush. Then there are the versatility aspects of his game; He can beat the goaltenders in every single shot and mix it up to challenge the opponent and let them guess what skills he will use from his toolbox.

The best thing about his chances of scoring is the pre-shot movement. Mitch Marner’s early passes were directly ahead of Matthews’ shot effort, about 27 percent. No one is better at taking Pak into the slot than the winger and this adds another element of danger.

Between the quality of his shots and what comes before his effort, Matthews’ expected goal totals 35.5. Before accounting for the shooting talent, it will reach 44 goals in a full season that he has already surpassed. Despite scoring more than expected, his scoring doesn’t seem to be drying up all of a sudden. His finishing ability on such a strong foundation of the offensive generation could keep him at the helm of the league.

Leon Dresitl

If DrySite’s 49 goals aren’t impressive enough, the forward’s total is one less than that number. So he has a legitimate chance Two Trophy at the end of the season: Rocket Richard and Art Ross.

But let’s focus on the former.

Draisaitl’s shot made the expected goal value of 36.8 which led to the league. Like Matthews, he has already surpassed the 82-game pace that kept him going. But the gap between the quality of his shot generation and his finishing ability is less than that of the other two players.

However, when factoring in the minutes of the game, both his xG generation and scoring are a bit slower than that of Matthews and Kraider. That could be a factor down the stretch.

One of the main differences between DrySite and his center before scoring is his shooting. Eulers forwards do not shoot at almost the same rate. In fact, his all-time effort rate is 16.2, ranked 79th out of 60 leagues. And it’s not that a ridiculously high percentage of these shots are comparatively centered in the slot to make up for it.

Most of the shots of DrySite come from the right side of the ice. This gives Lefty a great angle to shoot, though – and it exposes him to one-timers that are particularly dangerous in the power play from him, where he has already scored 20 goals. What gives him the advantage is who sets him up the most. About 35 percent of his shot effort is set by a shot from Connor McDavid, one of the fastest and most dodgy forwards in the league. When defenders see him flying around the ice with a stick, he has time and space to get to his teammate’s shooting position. As he showed a tendency to fire quickly after the pass, it stunned the goaltenders. And it helps to raise that expected target generation, even when not shooting at high speeds.

Chris Cradder

When we last analyzed the rocket race a few months ago, it was led by Kraider briefly. Now he is back in third place, but still maintaining momentum. Of the three skaters, he expected the least to reach this height. Prior to this season, all previous highs were below 30.

Unlike Matthews, Creeder tends to bunch most of his shots into an area of ​​ice. That area Direct In front of the goal crease.

This is where he stands in the power play, tipping and redirecting shots past the goaltenders to lead the league with 24 goals. He’s one of the best in all deviations, and a second 60 in powerplay with 7.14 attempts that connect to the goal 75 percent of the time. And no one can finish a better shot type than that. Rangers’ high-volume power play that sets him up to do his magic.

So the lack of volume that the creditor lacks in all situations comes from about 56 percent of his shot slots and can create quality shots from the internal slot with a league-leading rate.

When that shot Is not Coming from his net-front game, the fast winger can spin the ice with a twist to reach that high-danger area. So there is versatility in his aggressive generation.

What helps is his early linemate, Mika Zibanezad Also Expected to shoot 5-on-5 this year, but his goal rate is lower than last year. There was some Nifty set up in the center (with an initial shot assist in 30 percent of the crawler’s effort), whether it was passed at equal strength or shooting at the power play indicated by the crawler. But there is a difference. Him As a scorer’s primary assistant compared to Marner and McDavid.

With all of this in mind, Krader’s expected highest goal in the top three. Perhaps this hinders his chances of reaching 55 at speed, which is behind the track for DrySittle and Matthews. His scoring rate, however, is ahead of his predecessor’s goal generation – which works for him, as the two have an equal number of games left. But Can his finishing ability take him forward?

Alex Ovechkin

It will be difficult for anyone to make a difference and go further than Matthews, Dresitol or Kraider. But there are no two players Too much There is always an opportunity behind that much.

One of them is Ovechkin, one of the best scorers of all time who you can never fully count.

The 36-year-old has made an outstanding start to the score sheet this season, even without meeting his one-timer expectations. But his goal Did Slowly. He has now scored 42 goals in 66 games which has kept him at 51 runs throughout the season (which would be a maximum of 80 games for him). This is a bit behind the pace he was at at the end of January. Still, this milestone could be his first return since 2018-19 and the ninth time reaching the 50-goal mark.

Very few players, like Ovechkin’s 26.1 effort, try 26.1 out of 60 in all situations. Only Nikolaj Ehlers and David Pastnrak did a higher clip. But it is important to note the location of those shots. His 43 percent down shots come from slots, although he has had plenty of success since the end of this season. Rather, many of his shots are centered ‘in his office’ in the left circle or further outside. Everyone knows how effective he can be from there, but a shot fired from the outside could give defenders a better chance to thwart those efforts or he could miss. Only 49 percent of his shots are actually connected to the goal.

The key to Ovechkin’s success is the shot volume And Finishing power. And for the most part, it takes him a long way. But this year, it may not be fast enough to beat the skaters in front of him.

Kyle Connor

Winnipeg’s Connor has rounded out skaters with at least 40 goals this season. Ovechkin leans to the left, Jets wings shot from the right Pretty much Slightly highlighted in red below.

The quality of his shots combined for an expected goal of a total of 33.8. Behind Dresitol, Mathews, McDavid and Alex Debrinket, it is good for the fifth in the league. This is just 7.23 above expectations, a small gap between the four leaders. But When calculating the ice time, his expected goal rate lags behind the top three scorers and only leads Ovechkin. His actual goal rate pushes him further; It actually ranks 20th among the forwards in the league while the four stars mentioned above are in the top-10.

At the moment, he is on the verge of scoring 49 goals and is embarrassed for the 50-goal mark. And there is a very good chance, considering his aggressive generation and shooting talent, that he reaches, or even slightly surpasses. But The Jets have one game less than Capital, Rangers and Oilers and two less than Maple Leaf. And Connor’s pace is already lagging behind the rest. So he’s in good company, but probably won’t find himself at the top this year.

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