On Sunday, Alex Ovechkin makes franchise history once again. When the Russian machine steps onto the ice at PPG Paints Arena, he will be playing in his 1000th NHL game. Ovechkin will be the first player to reach the milestone solely with the Capitals.
Over the entirety of his 13-season NHL career, Ovechkin has only missed a total of 29 games, 12 of which weren’t injury related. All of those games came prior to the 2015-16 season. That durability has seen Ovechkin through several other milestone moments, including — just this season alone — his 500th assist, 1100th point, and his 600th goal.
“I was lucky to be drafted here,” Ovechkin said to NHL.com’s Tom Gulitti. “Right away, I feel this is my second home. The organization, the fans, the community has been great for me. It’s nice to play for one team that long time and be able to stay healthy and be able to do all these things together.”
The first in franchise history to play 1️⃣0️⃣0️⃣0️⃣ games with the Washington Capitals is the man we call Alexander the #Gr8.
More on the Milestone: https://t.co/cQsOglncMs#OV1000 #ALLCAPS pic.twitter.com/lbJx0oN839
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) April 1, 2018
The moment is going to be special for all Capitals fans, but especially for Ovechkin.
“It’s a special moment,” he added. “A thousand games for one organization, it’s pretty cool, and I’m going to be the first guy to do it in Washington.”
Even more impressive is that Ovechkin will also be the first of his 2004 draft class to reach 1000 games. Per Tarik El-Bashir, the next closest is Andrew Ladd, who remains 85 games away from the milestone himself.
Alex Ovechkin will play game No. 1,000 on Sunday in Pittsburgh, making him the first from the 2004 draft class to get there. Andrew Ladd is second but 85 games away from the milestone. pic.twitter.com/5DRSaqWQos
— Tarik El-Bashir⌨️🎙🏒 (@TarikNBCS) March 30, 2018
With the final three years of his 13-year contract left, Ovechkin has a similar regret about it as Capitals owner Ted Leonsis does.
“If I take that time back, I would sign for 16 years if I would have known the situation that happened,” Ovechkin said.
Ovechkin has tallied a phenomenal 603 goals, 227 of which have come on the power-play. In those 603 goals, 101 have been game-winning tallies, 22 have come in overtime, he’s scored 20 hat tricks, and sits at 1,118 points. Ovechkin also has 515 assists, bested only by Nicklas Backstrom who currently sits on 586.
“For Alex, what I think has always been underappreciated is his durability and for him to get to 1,000 games and 600 goals quickly,” Ted Leonsis said to the media on Thursday. “We’re very, very grateful to Alex and his family for his commitment, the way he trains, the way he’s matured now and gets his sleep and is hydrating well. He’s been the bedrock for our franchise.”
Of course, Leonsis’ praise for the Great 8 didn’t stop there.
“I don’t think there’s any doubt that he’s the best athlete, the most productive athlete in the history of Washington, D.C., in terms of contribution,” Leonsis said. “Many of us remember what the team was like, what the franchise was like before Alex came and I couldn’t be more grateful for the role he’s played and I’ve always felt that we’ve been in it together.”
There’s a lot to celebrate in Ovechkin’s 1000th game. But before Ovi notches his second “1000” milestone against the Penguins on Sunday, let’s remind ourselves of the first — his 1000th point, tallied on January 11, 2017.
The goal came less than a minute into the game, on a spectacular set-up by Backstrom.
Let’s slow that down and really appreciate it.
There’s just one more milestone that Ovechkin wants to reach with the Washington Capitals.
“The most important thing for us is winning the Stanley Cup and I want to win,” Ovechkin said.
A post shared by RMNB (@rmnb_blog) on
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.