Alex Ovechkin is fast approaching the breaking of yet another record in his storied career. This time, he’s closing in on becoming the highest goal scorer among Russian-born players, with Sergei Fedorov’s 483 career goals within reach.
In 766 games in the NHL, Ovechkin has 480 goals. That’s still the most of any player since he entered the league in 2008.
As of the time of this posting, Ovechkin’s Washington Capitals are facing off against the Pittsburgh Penguins and that number could increase yet again.
Fedorov notched his 483 goals in 1,248 career NHL games, putting together 1,179 points over that timeframe. He also had 52 playoff goals in 183 post-season games, spending his career with the Detroit Red Wings, Anaheim Mighty Ducks and Columbus Blue Jackets before wrapping things up with a stint on the Capitals.
In the 1993-1994 season, Fedorov scored 56 goals for the Red Wings and added 64 assists for a total of 120 points in 82 games.
Fedorov is set to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in November and is among Russia’s proudest exports, which will make the honour of passing his milestone numbers all the more important for Ovechkin.
“I was growing up when he was here, so it’s kind of a situation where you look at him when you’re growing up, you watch how he played, all his influence on Russian hockey, and it was huge,” said the Great Eight.
The top draft pick for the Capitals in 2004 has since exploded into the National Hockey League. He had a 65-goal season in 2007-2008, finishing with 112 points in 82 games. He’s scored 50 or more goals in a season six times in his career so far and has eclipsed 100 points four times. In 72 career playoff games, he has 70 points.
“As far as I’m concerned, [he’s] the best goal-scorer the game has ever seen,” Capitals forward Brooks Laich says of his teammate. “It’s not like he’s stopping either, he’s not just barely getting past. He’s still in the prime of his career. He’s got many years of goal scoring left in him.”
And that may be the most overwhelming part of this whole thing.
Ovechkin will blow down Fedorov’s record, possibly even this week, and then he’ll move on to conquer other NHL milestones. Perhaps only Mike Bossy scored more frequently, with 575 goals in 752 games. Mario Lemieux had 690 goals in 915 games, to put things in perspective, while the all-time leader Wayne Gretzky had 894 goals in 1,487 career NHL games.