‘Great 8’ Ovechkin keeps getting greater
At an age when most players start to decline, Alex Ovechkin just keeps getting better.
Indeed, the Washington Capitals’ 33-year-old left winger is having arguably his best season, racking up a league-leading 29 goals through the season’s first 35 games, thus putting him on pace for a 68-goal season, while setting a new career high with a 14-game point streak.
This following a 2017-18 campaign that saw him score his 600th career goal, lead the NHL in goals (49), win the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP and help propel the Caps past the Las Vegas Golden Knights in five games in the Stanley Cup Finals.
His teammates, needless to say, are in awe at Ovechkin’s continued brilliance.
“Such a hungriness to score goals,” Brett Connolly observed.
“A once-in-a-lifetime goal scorer,” T.J. Oshie said.
But it turns out the Great 8 also has a fan in the Great One, Wayne Gretzky. With 636 goals (and counting) three months into in his age 33 season, Ovechkin would need five 50-plus goal seasons to threaten Gretzky’s all-time mark of 894. It’s not an insurmountable task if he manages to stay healthy, and Gretzky for one is rooting for him.
“It’s great for the game and it’s a great watch,” Gretzky said. “If he’s close, I’ll be the first guy to go there (to see it).”
Ovechkin and the Caps can be seen in action twice this week: Sunday, Jan. 20, on NBC, visiting the Chicago Blackhawks; and Wednesday, Jan. 23, on NBC Sports Network, at the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Full name: Alexander Mikhailovich Ovechkin
Birth date: Sept. 17, 1985
Height/weight: 6 feet, 3 inches/235 pounds
Teams: Dynamo Moscow (2001-04); Washington Capitals (2004-present)
Draft: Selected first overall by the Capitals in 2004
Position: left wing
Honors and achievements: 10-time NHL All-Star; three-time Hart Memorial Trophy winner (for league MVP); seven-time Rocket Richard Trophy winner (top goal scorer); 2008 Art Ross Trophy (points champion); 2018 Conn Smythe Trophy (playoff MVP); 2006 Calder Trophy (top rookie); 2006 NHL All-Rookie Team