Photo: Bruce Bennett
Over the next few years, Alex Ovechkin will take his place among the greatest hockey players ever. Last Tuesday, he became the first Washington Capital in franchise history to score 900 points. According to the New York Times, Ovechkin’s next big accomplishment will be the Russian NHL goal record.
The person in front of him is mentor and former Capital Sergei Fedorov. Ovechkin has scored 480 NHL goals in 766 games. Fedorov, who left the NHL in 2009 and finished his career in the KHL, scored 483 goals in 1,248 games.
“I’m glad that it is Alexander Ovechkin who will break my NHL record among Russian players,” Fedorov told the New York Times. “We are friends for a long time, played shoulder to shoulder in Washington and Team Russia. We discussed playing the game a lot, and I’d like to believe that my advice helped him somewhere.”
Ovechkin told Lucas Aykroyd of the New York Times that Fedorov was a profound influence on him.
“He was my best teammate I’ve played with, obviously, with his skill and personality. I learned a lot from him. I was lucky to play with him. It’s going to be an honor to beat his record. He always did good things for the team. He was the best on the ice, I think. He was an all-around player. He could play defense, center, wing. And his experience — how many games he played, how many Stanley Cup rings he had. You just watched how he prepared for the games and his routines. It was unbelievable.”
Over the next two seasons, Ovechkin, 30, will pass two other milestones that should guarantee his (already pretty certain) admittance into the Hall of Fame. Ovechkin is 20 goals short from 500, which would make him the 43rd player ever to reach that benchmark. Next season, he’ll likely pass 1,000 points. Only 82 players have done this.
And Ovechkin will do so in an era when goals and points are much harder to come by.
For the Russian NHL goals record, it’s not a matter of if Ovechkin will nab it, but when. Fedorov will be admitted into the Hall of Fame November 3. Before and including that night, the Capitals will play four games.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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