Alex Ovechkin, who was once convinced he’d never catch Wayne Gretzky’s goals record of 894, has newfound optimism despite 39 games being subtracted from the schedule over the last two seasons.
Ovechkin was asked on Capitals’ Breakdown Day Tuesday if he felt like he has been robbed due to the coronavirus pandemic and two lockouts earlier in his career.
“You still have chances, man,” Ovechkin said. “You just have to go out there and do your thing. Maybe it will happen, maybe not. One step at a time.”
Combined with his positive outlook of re-signing with the Capitals and finishing his NHL career in DC, Ovechkin may get a legitimate shot to reach The Great One if he can stay healthy.
Ovi currently sits at 730 goals, one behind Marcel Dionne for fifth all-time. Ovechkin has averaged .61 goals per game during his 1,197 game career in Washington. If he were to play four more full seasons (328 games) and maintain the same goal-scoring pace, he’d tally 200 more times end his career with 930 goals, 36 more than Gretzky.
How much longer Ovechkin chooses to play will determine how realistic or not reaching the record will be. Ovi would have to average 41 goals per season to reach 894 in four years and 32 if he played five more. If Ovi can stay healthy and continue to avoid age-related regression, the math, as crazy as this sounds, appears to add up.
Under his first year with Peter Laviolette, Ovechkin scored 24 goals in 44 games during the 2020-21 season, missing eight games due to a leg injury and four more due to a January stint in COVID protocol.
Father time remains undefeated. But perhaps it can beat off just enough for one of the most durable players in NHL history to overtake a record no one ever thought could be broken.
Headline photo: Elizabeth Kong/RMNB
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under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license.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.