Marcel Dionne

Alex Ovechkin scores 700th goal with a blast

2 Comments

He did it. Alex Ovechkin scored his 700th career goal on Saturday as the Capitals faced the Devils.

Ovechkin scored his historic goal from the opposite faceoff circle from his typical “office.” It was a significant goal, tying Washington 2-2 with New Jersey a few minutes into the third period. Ovechkin reaching his 700th goal with such gusto really adds to the experience.

(Watch video of Ovechkin scoring his 700th goal in the video above.)

Ovechkin makes history with 700th goal

It marks his second goal in as many games after sitting at 698 goals for five agonizing contests. Well, they were agonizing for those anxiously awaiting number 700. Ovechkin’s response was basically “Whatever.” Ovechkin scored 30 of his 700 career goals against the Devils.

Ovechkin joins an illustrious group including Wayne Gretzky (894), Gordie Howe (801), Jaromir Jagr (766), Brett Hull (741), Marcel Dionne (731), Phil Esposito (717) and Mike Gartner (708). Ovechkin became the second player to score 700+ goals with a single team, as Howe scored 786 with the Red Wings before continuing a hockey journey that eventually included playing alongside his sons.

Jagr was the most recent player to reach 700 on March 1, 2014.

Ovechkin scored goal No. 699 in an OT loss to the Canadiens after five straight games without a point. No. 8 controlled a rolling puck after Nicklas Backstrom won a faceoff cleanly in the offensive zone, then fired a wrist shot past Carey Price.

Ovechkin, 34, became the second youngest and fastest player (1144 games) to score 700 goals, trailing Gretzky who was 29 years old (886 games) when he scored his 700th in January 1991 as a member of the Los Angeles Kings.

Earlier this month, Ovi also became only the second player to score 40 goals in 11 seasons, trailing Gretzky’s record of 12. Ovechkin now has 42 goals in 60 games this season, giving himself a shot at another Maurice Richard Trophy.

The Devils ended up beating the Capitals 3-2. Maybe Washington can get back on track now that Ovechkin got this 700th goal out of the way? Their struggles aren’t on Ovechkin, but the Caps are struggling as a team nonetheless. (They have to be pleased with Pittsburgh losing to the Sabres on Saturday, though.)

Ovechkin’s quest for 700th goal:

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Alex Ovechkin passes Selanne for 11th on NHL all-time goals list

Getty Images

At some point in the second half of 2019-20 season we’re going to see NHL history.

The man who will be making history is Alex Ovechkin, who moved to within 14 goals of 700 for his career with a pair Monday night. During the Capitals’ 2-0 win over the Hurricanes, Ovi scored goals Nos. 685 and 686 of his career.

The multi-goal game is the 139th of Ovechkin’s career, which ties him with Hall of Famer Marcel Dionne for the fifth-most in NHL history.

Hitting 686 moved Ovechkin ahead of Teemu Selanne — who Tweeted out a congratulatory message — and into 11th place on the NHL’s all-time goals list. Next in his sights is Mario Lemieux’s 690.

Whenever Ovechkin hits 700 goals he’ll become only the eighth player in league history to reach the mark.

It took Ovechkin just 142 games to go from goal No. 600 to goal No. 686 which, per the NHL, matches Wayne Gretzky for the fewest games to achieve that.

If you’re wondering, the closest active player to Ovechkin’s 686 is Patrick Marleau, who is at 559 goals scored for his career.

————

Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

Video: Panthers’ Jagr ties Phil Esposito with his 717th career goal

9 Comments

Jaromir Jagr opened the scoring for the Florida Panthers midway through the first period against the Tampa Bay Lightning this evening.

The goal was his first as a member of the Panthers and the 717th of his career tying him with Phil Esposito for fifth all-time.

Jagr is now 14 goals back of Marcel Dionne for fourth spot on the list.

Eric Lindros’ open-and-shut case for the Hockey Hall of Fame

101 Comments

Peter Forsberg’s election to the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday may have helped take care of something that should’ve happened already – make Eric Lindros’ case to be enshrined in Toronto.

The two giants of the ice are forever linked because of the June 30, 1992 trade that sent Lindros’ rights from the Quebec Nordiques to the Philadelphia Flyers. The blockbuster seven-player deal saw Lindros go to the Flyers in exchange for Forsberg, Steve Duchesne, Mike Ricci, Ron Hextall, Kerry Huffman, and Philly’s 1993 first-round pick that turned into Jocelyn Thibault.

Both Lindros and Forsberg went on to have superstar careers.

Forsberg had greater team success winning the Stanley Cup in 1996 and 2001 with the Colorado Avalanche while Lindros made one Stanley Cup Final appearance in 1997 with the Flyers getting swept by the Detroit Red Wings. Forsberg won two Olympic gold medals in 1994 and 2006 with Sweden while Lindros won one in 2002 with Canada.

For Hockey Hall of Fame arguments, team titles are an easy way to distract from the point of the Hall of Fame. Getting elected to the Hall is based on individual success and, let’s face it, there are plenty of players who will never come close to making the Hall who have won multiple Stanley Cups.

When it came to individual accolades, their honors are similar. Both Forsberg (2003) and Lindros (1995) won Hart Trophies. Forsberg also won the Calder (1995) and Art Ross (2003). Both went to multiple All-Star Games and were season-end league all-stars as well.

When you look at the raw statistics and personal achievements between Lindros and Forsberg, suddenly things look a lot closer:

Forsberg:  (14 seasons – 708 GP)  249 G  636 A  885 PTS  690 PIM 1.250 PPG (points per-game)

Lindros:    (13 seasons – 760 GP)  372 G  493 A  865 PTS  1,398 PIM  1.138 PPG

Forsberg’s points per game total is eighth best all-time trailing Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Mike Bossy, Sidney Crosby, Bobby Orr, Marcel Dionne, and Peter Stastny. He was a no-brainer Hall of Famer whether you loved him or hated him or wanted to hold his history of foot injuries against him.

source: Getty ImagesWhile Lindros’ PPG total pales in comparison, put that into perspective of how great Forsberg’s play was. Lindros’ PPG total is 19th best all-time. The next 11 players behind Lindros on that list are all in the Hall of Fame. Of those between Forsberg and Lindros, Kent Nilsson is the only one who isn’t currently playing that’s not in the Hall (Evgeni Malkin, Alex Ovechkin, Jaromir Jagr are still going strong).

Forsberg was rightly considered a no-brainer to make the Hall of Fame yet this was Lindros’ fifth turn on the ballot. Next year’s vote won’t be any easier for Lindros to crack through.

Nicklas Lidstrom, Sergei Fedorov, and Alex Kovalev will be eligible for the first time and join a growing group of worthy candidates to be enshrined. Lidstrom will be a unanimous selection with Fedorov being arguably close to that as well.

That means Lindros will be fighting for recognition amongst other guys with gaudy numbers like Phil Housley, Alexander Mogilny, and Dave Andreychuk or those with brilliant international careers like Sergei Makarov.

There shouldn’t be a way for others, aside from Lidstrom, to make as strong of a claim to make the Hall of Fame next year as Lindros. Now with Forsberg earning his own spot in history, it’s time for the Hall of Fame committee to open the doors for “Big E.”

Video: Jaromir Jagr scores 700th career goal

10 Comments

Jaromir Jagr’s has another achievement to add to his future Hall of Fame career .

Jagr scored his 700th career goal to give the Devils a 2-0 lead in the first period against the New York Islanders. Jagr is the seventh player to reach the 700-goal plateau all-time and is now eight goals behind Mike Gartner for sixth all-time in goals scored.

It may not have been a highlight-reel type of goal for the 42-year-old winger from Kladno, but they all count the same when they beat the goalie. Check out Jagr’s milestone goal with the call from the Devils broadcast.

As for how the all-time goal scorers list looks, here’s the company Jagr is keeping.

  1. Wayne Gretzky – 894
  2. Gordie Howe – 801
  3. Brett Hull – 741
  4. Marcel Dionne – 731
  5. Phil Esposito – 717
  6. Mike Gartner – 708
  7. Jaromir Jagr – 700

 

Not a bad group to be associated with.