Alex Ovechkin has joined the likes of Mike Bossy, Wayne Gretzky, Marcel Dionne, Guy Lafleur, and Mario Lemieux by hitting the 50 goal mark once more. This is his sixth 50 goal season in 10 seasons and that puts him in some fine company, to say the least.
Bossy and Gretzky had nine 50 goal seasons, while Dionne, Lafleur and Lemieux had six. For Ovechkin, this is his second 50 goal season in a row and one has to expect there will be more to come.
The Great Eight scored the goal on Tuesday in the first period of the Washington Capitals’ game against the Carolina Hurricanes.
The marker also tied Ovechkin with Washington’s Peter Bondra for the club record in goals with 472. Bondra hit 472 goals in 961 games, while Ovechkin hit the total in 755 games.
It’s commonplace in modern times to remain cynical. It’s normal to expect certain segments of hockey fans to watch remarkable things like Ovechkin’s career with their arms crossed, all the while content to miss out on something historical for the sake of saving face. Reading the Facebook comments on anything sports-related can be a depressing experience for those still capable of excitement and wonder.
But what Ovechkin’s done here is spectacular, no question about it.
There will be those who will say that Ovie hasn’t won the Stanley Cup, so everything is meaningless until then. Hogwash. Or there will be those who will bring up his defensive prowess or lack thereof. Once again, hogwash.
The fact is that Alex Ovechkin has reached the record books before the age of 30. He has scored more goals in the National Hockey League since 2001-2002 than anyone else in the league in that time period. And to put things in perspective, he didn’t debut until 2005-2006. That asserts his pure dominance over the passage of time.
To witness Ovechkin is to witness one of the finest pure goal-scorers in NHL history. Period. There are arguments to be made that he is perhaps the greatest goal-scorer, especially if one looks at metrics like “adjusted statistics.”
While the knocks on Ovechkin may be many, the fact of the matter is that the Capitals superstar now belongs in the books alongside names like Gretzky, Bossy, Lafleur, Dionne, and Lemieux. Kick and scream all you like, but numbers don’t lie. And excellence speaks for itself.