On Saturday, the Capitals were on Hockey Night In Canada with the Toronto Maple Leafs in town. Rogers Communications, who have a 12-year, $5.2 billion agreement with the NHL, showed off their flashy production value all night. Example: when the Sportsnet crew focused their cameras on Alex Ovechkin coming out for warm-ups.
Those metric unit fans at HNIC clocked Ovechkin’s first shot coming out from the locker room at 127.8 kilometers per hour. That’s a 79.4 mph wrist shot.
I asked former Capital Andrew Gordon what he thought.
“To be honest I would expect him to shoot that even harder with the clean ice and his flexible stick,” he said. “The impressive part is that he doesn’t even really lean into it. It looks like a pretty casual shot that he is just releasing because there was a puck between him and where he wanted to go. He in no way was trying to shoot as hard as he can, so if he did really put his weight into one I’m sure it would read a lot higher than 80 mph.”
“80 mph for a casual wrist shot is no slouch,” Gordon continued. “But guys all over the league, and in many other leagues can hit 80 if they’re trying their hardest.”
In the third period, HNIC compared the speed of Ovechkin’s one timer from his rookie year to now.
In 2005, one of Ovechkin’s one timer goals clocked in at 148.4 kilometers per hour (92.2 mph). 10 years later it’s gotten faster: 152.4 km/h (94.7 mph).
To put that in perspective, Ovechkin hit 101.4 mph in the NHL All Star Game’s Hardest Shot competition last season.
Over the summer, Conn Smythe Trophy winning goaltender Jonathan Quick explained to The Players Tribune why Ovechkin is such an elite goal scorer.
“He’s got a heavy, heavy shot,” he said. “Guys like Ovi shoot it so hard that it’s almost like you’re a batter in baseball. You see the blur of the puck coming at you in frames.”
“Some guys have hard shots, and then some have heavy ones,” he said. “There is a difference and Ovi has the heaviest of the heavy shots in the league as far as I can tell.”
So this is just another reminder that what we have in DC with Ovi is something very special. Don’t take it for granted.
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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