Alex Ovechkin has 780 career goals in the National Hockey League, good for third most all time. Almost all of the talk in the sports world around The Great Eight for the rest of his storied hockey career will be centered around whether or not he eclipses Wayne Gretzky at 894 goals for first in the all-time race.
In an interview with Russian outlet Match TV, Ovi let it be known that while the chase of the Great One will be at the front of everyone else’s minds it’s not what he’s most focused on.
“For the rest of my career, my goal is to win the Stanley Cup again,” Ovechkin said to Match TV’s Pavel Lysenkov and Alexander Rogulev and via a Google Translation. “I would like to do just that. And our personal records, including this one, we will try. I’ll try to score, and then we’ll see.
“The most important thing is that there are no injuries,” Ovechkin added. “And for the team to perform in such a way as to get into the playoffs. The team result is our number one priority.”
Ovi and the Caps won the franchise’s first Cup back in 2018 and have seen themselves kicked out of the playoffs in the first round every year since then. The team will be without key forwards Nicklas Backstrom and Tom Wilson due to offseason surgeries for the bulk of this upcoming season but used their available cap space well to bolster their ranks.
Notable additions include Dylan Strome, Connor Brown, and most importantly new starting netminder Darcy Kuemper.
Ovechkin admitted that he’s nearly ready and excited for a return to Washington in the coming weeks.
“We are already training, getting into shape,” Ovechkin said. “A month later, the camp begins, we are gradually preparing for it so that we are 70 percent ready for the training camp.”
The Caps captain has stayed quite busy this offseason as the jack of all trades made his international soccer debut with Dynamo Moscow, played in Alexander Semin’s farewell game, competed in an NHL 22 eSports tournament, and was a participant in Artemi Panarin’s recent charity match where he took his son Sergei out onto the ice afterwards for some practice shots.
Ovi Jr is already a bottom six talent in the NHL. He’s 3.
🎥: gus_gr8/IG pic.twitter.com/17uTBUpzYJ
— RMNB (@rmnb) July 30, 2022
While Ovi seems intensely focused on team goals this offseason it’s hard to ignore the sort of history he could be touching with another successful personal campaign.
In 77 games in 2021-22, the burly Russian winger recorded the ninth 50-goal season of his career. He is just 21 goals behind Gordie Howe for second on the all-time list and another season of that ilk would put him just over 60 goals away from Gretzky.
It’s safe to say the Caps will probably be looking to feed the 36-year-old whenever possible but Ovechkin again wants it known that team results come first.
“The fact that there is support from the guys, it is felt,” he said. “If in a situation in front of the goal I am open, they will give a pass, there is such a thing. But the fact that we don’t care about the result, and most importantly, my goals, there is no such thing in Washington.”
Headline photo: Ian Oland/RMNB
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