Wayne Gretzky is next.
Alex Ovechkin on Friday passed Gordy Howe for second on the NHL’s all-time scoring list. Having achieved his goal of 802, he is now behind only the Great His One.
Ovechkin moved into second place with two goals in the Washington Capitals’ 4-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets.
A 37-year-old left winger, Ovechkin is a Lifetime Capitals pick who was drafted No. 1 overall in 2004. “I always want to be number one. Yes, I can play in the NHL. I can score goals.”
It turned out to be an understatement. Expectations were high for Ovechkin, but he wasn’t one, though it was noted that he “scored as many NHL goals for him as Gordy Howe and Wayne Gretzky”.
In 18 seasons, Ovechkin won three Hart Trophies, which are given to the league’s most valuable players, and won the Capitals’ only Stanley Cup in the 2017-18 season. Although he made his three appearances at the Winter Olympics for Russia, he has never won a medal.
And all that time he has scored a lot of goals. He has led the league his nine times, most recently cut short by the coronavirus pandemic, until the 2019-20 season, at the age of 34, where he scored 48 goals in Boston. It was lined up with Pastanak.
He has long left his current players behind. Next on the active scoring list is Sidney Crosby of his Pittsburgh Penguins. He started his career alongside Ovechkin (Crosby said he was the No. 1 pick in his 2005 draft, but his NHL lockout the previous season canceled Ovechkin’s season). delayed start).
Crosby is a 35-year-old center who has scored 536 more goals than Ovechkin as a playmaker.
Ovechkin is an immortal companion.Gretzky has scored his 894th goal in his NHL and Ovechkin is currently List of goalscorers below As great as Jaromir Jagr (766), Brett Hull (741), Marcel Dionne (731) and Phil Esposito (717).
And Howe, whom Ovechkin had just met near the top, scored 801 goals, more than 400 more than Ovechkin, in a very long career, the equivalent of 1,767 NHL games in Detroit and Hartford. And he scored an additional 174 points in his six seasons with the World Hockey Association.
A year ago it seemed like a good bet for Ovechkin to catch Gretzky, but it wasn’t a sure thing. An old physical injury may cost him his appearance.
However, he appeared immortal in the last season and a half. Average of just over 0.6 goals per game, at his career average. He appeared in 77 of the Capitals’ 82 regular-season games last season and hasn’t missed a single game so far this season despite the Capitals’ struggles (19-13-4). not.
Surprisingly, Ovechkin is averaging over 20 minutes of ice time per game, making him one of the top 20 forwards in the league. Only Minnesota Wild’s Mats Zuccarello is over 30.
Let’s say Ovechkin has maintained a near 0.6 rating this season and is injury-free. He will be able to steal his 30th goal. Even if he drops to 0.5 next season, that would still be 40 goals more, after which he would come within 20 seconds of him from Gretzky and be poised to break his record in the 2024-25 season. I was there.
Earlier this season, Gretzky acknowledged that the question isn’t whether Ovechkin will beat his record, but when. Given that Ovechkin signed in 2021 5-year, $47.5 million deal If that takes him through 2025-26, you have to agree.
But don’t cry for Gretzky. His 1,963 assists record eclipsed second place (currently Seattle general manager Ron Francis) by more than 700, and he beat Crosby, who has 916 assists, to 1,000. more than Ovechkin, whose main talent is scoring goals, has 649 assists, a handful of active players ahead of him.
Still, with the latest milestone, Ovechkin continues to climb the upper reaches of the Hockey Hall of Fame and doesn’t appear to be stopping anytime soon.