One of the best players in NHL history, Ovechkin has a career total of 494 goals and 679 assists for 1,185 points. Without him on their team this season the Washington Capitals would have only been able to muster 98 points as opposed to 117 with him in the lineup.
Alexander Ovechkin is showing absolutely no signs of slowing down with the Capitals. He is leading the league in goals and assists, and his team is just a few points behind the Boston Bruins for first place.
In his 17th NHL season, Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin is showing no symptoms of slowing down, in fact, he seems to have raised his game to a new level.
Ovechkin has 20 goals and 44 points in 28 games this season. With those figures, he is now second in the league in goals and third in points, and he is on track to record his most goals and points in a single season since the 2007-08 season. While his pace may be unsustainable, it demonstrates how powerful Ovechkin remains at 38 years old.
He’s helped the Capitals to a 17-5-6 record and has been instrumental in keeping the club competitive. While he does have some tremendous talent surrounding him, his stats are still rather impressive when compared to those of his colleagues. Evgeny Kuznetsov, who has nine goals and 30 points for the Capitals, is the player closest to him in terms of goals and points. Kuznetsov’s stats aren’t bad either, as he’s tied for 13th in the NHL in terms of points.
Only nine of Ovechkin’s 44 points have come on the power play, which makes his stats even more astonishing. Even at even strength, he’s still putting up a lot of points, with a league-leading 34 points (second-placer Kirill Kaprizov sits well back with just 26 even strength points). Ovechkin has scored approximately 35 percent of his points on the power play in recent years, compared to only 20 percent this season. He’s also already taken 121 shots this season, an average of almost four shots per game, putting him in first place in the league. It’s also worth mentioning that he’s been very consistent. Only five of his 28 games this season have gone without a point, despite having 14 multi-point outings.
Ovechkin’s statistics would be impressive even for a player in his mid-20s, much alone in his late 30s. He’s one of just two players over 33 years old in the top 50 in points this season, illustrating how tough it is to prevent the slide.
For the next several seasons, Ovechkin’s quest of Wayne Gretzky’s career goal record will surely be the focus of attention. With 750 goals, Ovechkin is now fourth all-time, 144 goals shy of the record. With his incredible start to the season, he’s already gained a significant amount of distance, overtaking both Marcel Dionne and Brett Hull. With just 16 goals separating him from Jaromir Jagr for third place, he’ll almost certainly move up the list before the season’s finish.
We know Ovechkin isn’t going away anytime soon, having recently inked a five-year contract deal this summer. It seems to be a safe bet that he will shatter Gretzky’s record; the only question is when and by how much. With four years left on his contract, Ovechkin has to score 24 goals in the next 54 games of the season to reach his goal total of 120. This would leave him with a modest 30 goals each season, and that’s just during his current deal, since he’d always have the option to extend. For context, he’s only ever scored fewer than 30 goals in a season once, and that was last season, when he only played 45 games.
We may also take into account the fact that Ovechkin seldom loses time due to injury. So far this season, he’s been in every game and has only missed more than one game in one of the prior five seasons. He’s in an excellent position to beat the record if he can avoid missing any lengthy periods of time due to injuries.
A less-discussed but nonetheless fascinating theme is the Capitals’ ability to remain a top team in the NHL despite the fact that their core group is getting older. Despite the fact that several of the main players are already in their 30s, the team continues to be a force, having made the playoffs in 13 of the previous 14 seasons. In addition, the Capitals figure to be a certainty to return to the playoffs this season. As a result, although Ovechkin’s individual exploits are nothing short of spectacular, it will be intriguing to see whether he can win a second Stanley Cup.
While many exceptional athletes would be far over their peak by the time they reach their mid-30s, Alex Ovechkin has nevertheless managed to improve his output. He is still one of the most explosive attacking forces in the league, and he shows no signs of slowing down as he chases the record for most goals scored in NHL history.
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