Alex Ovechkin is becoming an early MVP favorite as he continues to score goals and put up points at a blistering pace.
Sunday, Ovechkin followed up the hat trick he scored against the Florida Panthers by scoring his 749th career goal against the Carolina Hurricanes. Ovechkin’s latest tally gave him a staggering 19 goals in 22 games this season.
At age 36, Ovechkin is off to the best start of his 17-year-career.
Ovechkin lit the lamp after the Hurricanes left him wide open on the door step.
— Mr Booth (@MrBooth07) November 28, 2021
After working a give-and-go with Tom Wilson, Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov drove hard to the net and hit Ovi with a backhand pass just outside the crease. Ovechkin got enough of his stick on the puck to push it past Hurricanes’ goaltender Frederik Andersen.
Ovechkin had a huge celebration after scoring and not just because it gave the Capitals the lead over one of the best teams in the NHL.
Coming into the 2021-22 season, Ovechkin, who averaged 0.61 goals per game during his previous 1,197 games in the NHL, needed to score 0.40 GPG to reach Gretzky’s record by the end of his new contract (if he plays all 82 games in all five seasons). So far this year, Ovechkin is doubling that amount with a career high 0.86 GPG.
If Ovi can continue this pace — and I, for one, will no longer consider anything impossible for this man — he would score a ridiculous, career-high 71 goals.
The play-making Ovechkin currently ranks second in goals (19), sixth in assists (18), and second in points (37) in the NHL. The Oilers’ Leon Draisaitl, who’s teammates with Connor McDavid, is the only player who has more goals (20) or points (40). He is 10 years younger than Ovi.
Ovechkin’s current projected statline looks like the following if he can continue this pace for the entire year.
Games: 82 | Goals: 71 | Assists: 67 | Points: 138 | PPG: 15 | Shots: 354
Ovechkin’s previous career-high in goals was 65 and his previous career-high in points was 112, which he accomplished during the 2007-08 season. Ovi was 22 then.
Then there’s the accolades. Ovechkin has earned four star honors from the NHL:
He is now the third age 36-or-older player to ever score 10 goals and 10 assists in a single month of play.
Alex Ovechkin is the 3rd player with 10 Goals & 10 Assists in a single calendar month at age 36-or-older.
Gordie Howe did it in Dec. 1965 and Teemu Selanne did it in Nov. 2006. pic.twitter.com/dbN7BG2cBl
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 29, 2021
Ovi also passed Marcel Dionne (731) and Brett Hull (741) on the NHL’s all time goals list during the first four weeks of the season.
It’s been a stunning season so far. Definitely one worth jiving too.
Headline photo: Elizabeth Kong/RMNB
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