Alex Ovechkin now sits in second place on the NHL’s all-time targets after scoring his 802nd profession objective in a win over the Winnipeg Jets . Ovechkin nonetheless has some work to do with a purpose to catch Wayne Gretzky at 894, however he has already proven that he has the longevity to climb the NHL report books.
Although there’s nonetheless a big quantity of cushion between Ovechkin and Gretzky on the all-time targets listing, Ovechkin has already set quite a few NHL scoring information by piling up absurd numbers season after season.
One of probably the most deadly energy play weapons within the historical past of the sport, Ovechkin holds the NHL report for all-time energy play targets with 292. What makes this quantity so spectacular is that nobody has discovered how you can shut down Ovechkin on the person benefit at any level within the final 18 years.
Earlier this season, Ovechkin additionally handed Gordie Howe for probably the most targets with a single franchise. Howe scored 786 with the Detroit Red Wings, and all of Ovechkin’s tallies have include the Washington Capitals. In the trendy period, with gamers hardly ever spending their complete profession with one staff as a result of wage cap and free company, Ovechkin has managed to stay with Washington. Of course, not many franchises would half methods with probably the most dominant scorers in NHL historical past, however inform that to the Edmonton Oilers.
While Ovechkin remains to be chasing Gretzky in total targets, he has already surpassed him in profession street targets with 409. If something, this speaks to the truth that Ovechkin goes to get his, even when the opposing staff has extra management of the matchups. There’s little question his energy play prowess has one thing to do with that.
Ovechkin additionally holds the NHL report for profession extra time targets with 25. This is likely one of the few areas the place Ovechkin holds a bonus over gamers from earlier generations. The adoption of of three-on-three extra time for the 2015-16 season has allowed expert gamers like him to thrive. That’s why 13 of the highest 20 gamers on the all-time extra time targets listing are nonetheless lively as we speak.
Ovechkin’s climb to the highest of the NHL report books in all these classes has been an train in longevity. Ovechkin hasn’t precisely performed in a high-scoring period of NHL historical past, and he has missed vital time resulting from lockouts and pandemic-shortened seasons. Still, Ovechkin continues to steadily work his means up the historical past books by placing up gaudy goal-scoring numbers each single 12 months.
Compared to a few of his friends within the higher echelons of the NHL report books, Ovechkin has performed in a comparatively low-scoring period. The league is presently in its one hundred and fifth season, and that is the highest-scoring one through which Ovechkin has performed. To this level in 2022-23, groups are averaging 3.17 targets per recreation, which ranks thirty third in league historical past.
Ovechkin has solely performed in six different seasons that rank within the high half of NHL historical past by way of common scoring. By distinction, Gretzky performed in 14 of the highest 25 highest-scoring seasons in league historical past.
Ovechkin has additionally been impacted by fairly just a few misplaced video games. The 2004-05 season, which ought to have been Ovechkin’s rookie season, was completely misplaced resulting from a lockout. Less than a decade later, Ovechkin misplaced nearly half a season resulting from a partial lockout within the 2012-13 season.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, Ovechkin misplaced much more alternatives to fill the web. The 2019-20 common season was minimize brief by roughly a dozen video games, and the league performed a 56-game season in 2020-21.
In whole, Ovechkin has misplaced 155 video games to lockouts and the pandemic alone. If he had been capable of play these video games whereas scoring at his profession common fee, Ovechkin would have already handed Gretzky’s profession report of 894 targets.
Despite a number of components working in opposition to him, Ovechkin nonetheless has a superb opportunity to develop into the NHL’s all-time main scorer by the point he retires. He has put himself on this place by constantly being among the many league leaders in targets yearly, nearly with out exception.
The solely time Ovechkin has completed with fewer than 32 targets in a single season was within the pandemic-shortened 2021-22 season through which he missed an extra 11 video games. Now in his 18th NHL season, Ovechkin has scored not less than 50 targets 9 instances and is on tempo to come back near that quantity once more this 12 months.
Ovechkin has received the Rocket Richard Trophy because the NHL’s main scorer 9 instances, which is an NHL report. He received it 4 consecutive instances from 2013 to 2016, which can also be an NHL report. The award did not exist till Gretzky’s last season, however he would have received it 5 instances all through his profession.
The 37-year-old Ovechkin nonetheless wants 93 targets to surpass Gretzky because the NHL’s all-time main goal-scorer. It will take not less than a pair extra years for him to get there, however Ovechkin has already proven that he has the sturdiness and the longevity to get the job completed.
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