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Campbellnomics - April 14

Evgeni Malkin can have the Art Ross Trophy. For the second straight season, Alex Ovechkin has the hot stick when it comes to scoring goals that really matter.

The Washington Capitals star finished in top spot in Campbellnomics, a statistic unique to THN.com that measures offensive contributions, with an emphasis on goals scored in key situations during a game.

There's an old axiom in hockey that suggests they don't care how, they care how many. Well, at THN.com, we don't care how many. What we care about is how many were important. And nobody did it this season better than Ovechkin.

We're not interested in who scores the sixth goal in a 6-2 game, but we do want to give credit to players who score the goal that put the team up 3-2, or the player who scored the first goal of the game.

Here's how it works: Players are awarded one point for a goal (including the shootout) and a half point for an assist – hey, this isn't minor hockey here and goals are more important than assists – when a goal is scored in the following situations: the first goal of a game, a goal that puts a team in a tie or ahead in a game, a comeback goal, a game-winning goal and an overtime goal.

A new wrinkle on Campbellnomics this season is the comeback goal. A comeback goal can only be scored when a team is trailing by two or more goals and that goal has a direct effect on his team getting back into the game. The goal must be one of goals scored in succession that result in the game later being tied.

This system both recognizes big goals and weighs them more heavily. For example, if a player scores the all-important first goal of the game, he automatically receives two points, one for the first goal of the game and one for putting his team ahead. If a player scores the game-winner in a 1-0 overtime or shootout win, he gets four points – one for the first goal of the game, one for putting his team ahead, one for the game-winner and one for an overtime goal.

Obviously, the Campbellnomics rankings are sometimes radically different than the NHL scoring race because of the emphasis on important goals. For example, Alexander Semin is 19th in NHL scoring, but is No. 2 in Campbellnomics. Alex Kovalev is 49th in NHL scoring, but is in the top 20 in Campbellnomics.

Since it's the final update, we included the top 10 defensemen and rookies in Campbellnomics this season. We also included the Campbellnomics total for players who finished in the top 20 in NHL scoring, but were nowhere to be found in the top 20 of Campbellnomics.

We also included the top 10 Campbellnomics scorers for non-playoff teams. Since those players receive fewer opportunities to score big goals than players on better teams, those who do produce in key situations are recognized.

Campbellnomics is updated Tuesdays only on thehockeynews.com. For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, Subscribe to The Hockey News magazine.

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