Washington’s leader in goals in this very young season is Conor Sheary. Sheary’s third goal of the year was the game-winner on Monday night, a net-front sweep-in off a brilliant pass from Alex Ovechkin.
For Sheary it was just another case of stepping up whenever and wherever the team needs him.
“You always just gotta be ready,” Sheary, 30, told NBC Sports Washington’s Al Koken of Alex Ovechkin’s pass. “He’s underrated in that aspect. Tonight I was ready for it.”
Playing up with Ovechkin isn’t an everyday thing for Sheary, who tends to be moved around the lineup as needed.
“I just take it in stride,” Sheary said. “I’m a kind of player who just works hard whatever line I’m on. If we need a spark, maybe I move up there, but I pride myself on playing throughout the whole lineup. I got my chance tonight, but it might be another guy another night.”
Regardless of where he is in the lineup, Sheary has been producing. Since he joined the team in the summer of 2020, Sheary has scored more goals than anyone but Ovechkin and Tom Wilson.
And with Wilson out long-term, Sheary would tie for second place with his next goal.
All those goals have come despite playing noticeably less than his high-scoring peers.
With all the injuries and lost time over the last few years, that graph above doesn’t capture the whole story. Because he plays mostly out of the top six and gets little power-play time, Sheary averages 14.6 minutes per game – roughly the same as Nic Dowd. But the average ice time for the team’s top-five scorers is almost 17.8 minutes, basically more than three shifts than Sheary gets per game.
That’s a lot of output in modest minutes.
Also, and I don’t know if you’ve heard this, he’s not the tallest guy on the team.