Alex Ovechkin is off to yet another fantastic start to the season trying to get his Washington Capitals back to the Stanley Cup Finals. The Great Eight has tallied eight points throughout seven games. One of those points may hold much more significance when compared to the rest of them over the course of his career…so far.
Ovechkin scored his 709th career goal on February 4th, 2021 when he snagged the puck off the faceoff and fired a laser over the blocker of New York Ranger’s goaltender Igor Shesterkin to pass Mike Gartner for seventh place on the NHL’s all-time goals list. In a true demonstration of sportsmanship, Gartner recorded a video message graciously congratulating the Russian phenom on the accomplishment.
Barring any significant injuries or cancelations of games, it is reasonable to assume that Ovechkin can net at least 22 more goals this season and pass both Esposito and Dionne. Washington’s captain shows no signs of slowing down as he has racked up 48, 51, and 49 goals in each of his last three seasons, respectively. It is also important to note that both last season and this season have been cut short due to COVID-19. The rate-limiting factor for Ovechkin to accomplish the ultimate scoring goal will be time. At 35 years old, he is currently in his 17th season and unfortunately for hockey fans, will not be able to play forever.
Wayne Gretzky scored his 709th goal during the 1990-1991 season, his third season with the Los Angeles Kings, and his 12th season in the league, a significantly faster pace when compared to Ovechkin’s climb up the scoring ladder.
Ovechkin has expressed his determination to continue the pursuit and if he finished every season for the rest of his career with at least 30 goals, it would take just over five seasons after this one to pass Gretzky. With 185 more goals to go hockey fans will continue to watch as Ovechkin tries to do the unthinkable; take a record from the greatest player to step on the ice.
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