Update: The Capitals ended up beating the Canadiens 6-1. Alex Ovechkin finished with four goals, giving him seven in two games.
The reports regarding the demise of Alex Ovechkin’s elite sniping ability appear to be greatly exaggerated.
After generating a hat trick in the third period of the Washington Capitals’ 5-4 shootout win to open the season against the Ottawa Senators, Ovechkin carried over that hot streak in a big way to begin Saturday’s match versus Carey Price and the Montreal Canadiens.
Ovechkin even did something that’s rare for an all-time goal-scorer like himself: scoring hat tricks in consecutive periods.
His first goal was pretty ridiculous, the second came from “his office” on the power play, and then he tipped in a shot for the third.
Check out the first:
While others have used empty-netters to get their hat tricks, it’s also worth noting that all six of Ovechkin’s goals so far have come against goalies (and good ones, normally).
You can watch the hat trick in the video above this post’s headline.
Why 2016-17 might have been an anamoly
Ovechkin, 32, “only” scored 33 goals in 2016-17, prompting many to believe that he would no longer be a runaway Richard Trophy winner. After averaging close to five shots on goal per contest for ages, Ovechkin’s output dipped last season to 3.82 per contest. He also saw a drop in ice time, down to 18:19 after averaging 20 minutes and change for some time.
The Capitals will likely need more out of Ovechkin after an offseason of difficult losses. He’s firing the puck away, so even if the bounces slow down, there’s a good chance that Ovechkin could regain his status as the king of the snipers.
Ovechkin had six shots on goal in that opening win and is letting the pucks fly, which behooves well for him being more than just a quick-starter. Also: there’s that decade of evidence that Ovechkin is almost unstoppable.
Here are highlights of that win against the Senators, featuring his other hat trick: