Alex Ovechkin just keeps right on rolling.
His third period goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night in the Washington Capitals’ 6-3 win was his league-leading 50th goal of the season, making it the eighth time in his sensational career that he has hit the 50-goal mark in a season.
Only Wayne Gretzky and Mike Bossy, both with nine, and both having spent the bulk of their careers in the 1980s during the NHL’s all-time highest scoring era, are the only players that have done it more times.
Ovechkin, on the other hand, spent the bulk of his prime years playing in one of the NHL’s lowest scoring eras.
Here is a look at his 50th for this season.
As we pointed out a little more than a week ago, perhaps the most impressive thing about this particular season for Ovechkin is that he is doing it in his age 33 season, putting him on a ridiculously small list of players to accomplish that. The only other players to score at least 50 goals in a single season after celebrating their 33rd birthday are Jaromir Jagr (54 at age 33 in 2005-06), John Bucyk (51 at age 35 in 1970-71), and Bobby Hull (50 at age 33 in 1971-72). This is usually the point in a player’s career that their goal-scoring numbers begin to decline, and often times rapidly. That is obviously not the case here with Ovechkin who remains one of the league’s most dominant players.
He did not have to wait long to keep adding to his total when he scored his 51st goal of the season less than two minutes later when he blasted a one-timer from his office (at the top of the circle on the power play).
Assuming Ovechkin can hold off Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl (and barring an insane hot streak from Draisaitl, combined with Ovechkin going cold) he is on track to lead the league in goals for the eighth time in his career.
No player in league history has ever done it that many times.