In a 4-1 win over the San Jose Sharks at the Verizon Center on December 4, Russian super sniper Alex Ovechkin not only put the Washington Capitals two goals to the good, but he also placed himself 20th on the all-time top goalscorers list. This, his 20th goal of the 2017/18 NHL season, put him one up on Hockey Hall of Famer Mark Recchi. But, ‘The Great Eight’ certainly isn’t done there.
In fact, there’s a very good chance that the man formerly drafted first overall in the 2004 Entry Draft will find himself among the top five goal scorers of all-time by the time his career is through. Now 32 years old, Ovechkin has netted 579 goals in 950 games, as of his 29th contest of this season. It’s an incredible rate of goal scoring, backed up by his mighty point total of 1067 through 11 full seasons, the half season of 2012/13, and the third that had passed of 2017/18.
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) December 5, 2017
Ovechkin is on pace to win his seventh Maurice ‘Rocket’ Richard Trophy as the top scorer this season, but that hasn’t helped to lift his team to the top of their division. Despite dominating the entire regular season in recent years, the Capitals merely sit in a wildcard spot after 29 games, leaving them at +500 to win the Metropolitan Division via a free bet from Oddschecker. But, with Ovechkin continuing to fire on all cylinders, there’s no doubt that the Caps will rise up and try to challenge for the top spot eventually.
While his natural talent for putting the puck past the netminder has obviously been key to his incredible stats, his distinctly robust nature and ability to avoid major injuries has been vital.
The absolute most games that Ovechkin has missed from a single regular season so far was ten games in 2009/10. Now in his 13th professional season, the mighty Russian has missed just 29 games in total.
Compare that to fellow superstar Sidney Crosby, who has played 138 fewer games in the same number of seasons, and you can see why some put him ahead of Crosby as the best, as he’s simply been more dependable to his team.
https://t.co/CGRMZkYlfR Seven reasons why #NHL goal-scoring has exploded Scoring is up this season, and Alex Ovechkin isn’t the only one who’s pumped about it. What’s behind the offensive boom? Referees who are willing to enforce the ru… https://t.co/wgB9vjAK0H #hockey #sports pic.twitter.com/rKi1SYMuuf
— GlobalSportsCentre (@GlobalSportsCtr) November 28, 2017
This high rate of scoring and longevity has set him up perfectly to keep clawing his way up the all-time NHL goalscorers list with ease. With seven 50-plus goal seasons and 21 goals in 29 games this season, he could bring down the legendary Jari Kurri this season, who sits on 601 goals – 32 up on Ovechkin after 29 games of 2017/18.
According to calculations considering his advancing age and rate of scoring, Washington’s premier sniper is en route to finishing his career second of all-time, ahead of even Gordie Howe’s 801 goals, but, of course, behind Wayne Gretzky’s effectively unbeatable tally of 894. By scoring at a rate above 0.45 goals per game over the next 484 games, which he’s fully capable of even considering a drop in his rate of scoring, would amount to 223 goals and second of all-time.
Ovechkin is set to become the greatest goal scorer of the modern NHL era, even taking down many of the all-time greats along the way, so be sure to keep an eye out as he climbs higher up the NHL goalscoring charts.