It’s certainly a real possibility that by the end of the 2020-21 NHL season Alex Ovechkin will be a top-five goal scorer in league history. He already is, clearly, but with 22 more goals he’ll be in that category statistically as well.
After scoring twice during Sunday’s loss to the Flyers, the Capitals captain sits seventh with 711 career NHL goals. He’s six away from tying Phil Esposito (717) for sixth place and 20 away from reaching Marcel Dionne’s 731. Knowing Ovechkin like we do, even Brett Hull’s 741 isn’t out of reach given his level of production.
Jaromir Jagr (766), Gordie Howe (801), and Wayne Gretzky (894) will take a bit more time to reach.
“Yeah, it’s great to move on. Not done yet,” Ovechkin said Sunday. “Just try to enjoy my time right now and try to enjoy this moment. The team, obviously it [stinks] we didn’t get the point, but, you know, beginning of the year, just trying to find our game.”
“It’s an amazing accomplishment,” said Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette. “I thought Alex was hunting the whole night. He was firing and he was firing from all over. I’ve watched him for so many years from a different bench, and to actually be on the bench and appreciate his talent, it’s even more special. So it’s a great accomplishment for him.”
PROGRAMMING NOTE ⤵️
Tonight on NBCSN:
▶️ 7 p.m. ET: Edmonton at Ottawa
▶️ 8:30 p.m. ET: Tampa Bay at Nashville as regularly scheduled
— NHL on NBC Sports (@NHLonNBCSports) February 9, 2021
The Capitals have 44 games remaining and Ovechkin has five through eight games he’s played. He’s sixth all-time in goals per game with 0.613 and shows no signs of wear or that he’s slowing down. That will bode well in his quest to take down the six players ahead of him on the goal scoring list.
There’s even some value to be had in Ovechkin’s goal scoring efforts. He’s currently +1100 on Pointsbet to win his 10th Rocket Richard Trophy and fourth in a row. No other player in NHL history has won the award more than twice.