It is not an unpopular opinion to say Alex Ovechkin's 2007-08 season is the best of the 2000s. I was curious to see how it would grade by WAR. I also wanted to test how a peak Pavel Datsyuk's all around game would compare to Ovechkin's dominant goal scoring.
So I went component by component, pitting them head to head in each aspect of WAR: Ovechkin, Datsyuk and the Importance of WAR. I also listed the leaders league wide for each category.
For those not wanting to read the full thing, I'll spoil the ending. Ovechkin finished with 9 WAR, Datsyuk 8. Both of these are crazy numbers. The only 8 WAR season from 2015-19 was Nikita Kucherov's 8.4 last year.
Top 10 forwards by WAR 2007-08:
player (Team) WAR ALEX.OVECHKIN (WSH) 9 PAVEL.DATSYUK (DET) 8 HENRIK.ZETTERBERG (DET) 7.6 JAROME.IGINLA (CGY) 7 JOE.THORNTON (S.J) 6.7 EVGENI.MALKIN (PIT) 6.6 DANIEL.ALFREDSSON (OTT) 6 DEREK.ROY (BUF) 5.8 SIDNEY.CROSBY (PIT) 5.6 JASON.SPEZZA (OTT) 5.3
This exercise further reinforces two of my opinions:
- Alex Ovechkin's 07-08 season very much should be considered an all-timer
- An all-encompassing stat like WAR is necessary to reward do it all players ,like Datsyuk, who cannot be accurately measured by points alone
Feel free to share your thoughts on the data and share your personal ranking of the best seasons of the 2000s.