Ovechkin notches goal number 800, chases record


Photo used with permission from Wikimedia Commons

Alex Ovechkin shoots from one knee during a home game against the Los Angeles Kings.

A player scoring 500 goals over the course of their NHL career is nothing to scoff at. Afterall, the feat has only been accomplished by 46 players over the NHL’s 105-year lifespan. But, scoring 800 goals is almost unheard of, and only accomplished by two of the greatest NHL players of all time, Gordie Howe and Wayne Gretzky (who is literally nicknamed “The Great One”).

That is, until the Washington Capitals very own Alex Ovechkin surpassed 800 goals on December 13, 2022, with a hat trick against the Chicago Blackhawks. Ten days later, Ovechkin passed Howe and now ranks second on the all time scoring list, only trailing Gretzky. Over the last two decades, Ovechkin has established himself as one of the most prolific and exciting goal scores in the history of the NHL. “Even though I’m a (Bufflao) Sabres fan, it has been cool to watch Ovechkin play,” junior Lily Judelsohn said.

He has been a member of the Capitals franchise since the 2004 NHL draft, where he was selected first overall by the Washington Capitals. From the first time he stepped on the ice all the way up until his 800th goal, Ovechkin has been a super star in the NHL. Ovechkin’s success can be attributed to his unique ability to score goals from anywhere on the ice and be in the right place at the right time. Whether it’s setting up shop in his signature office at the top of the left circle during power plays or blasting in slap shots from the blue line, Ovi has a knack for scoring goals. “It always seems like Ovechkin is able to score effortlessly,” senior Lyndsie Lewis said.

Ovechkin was criticized for not being able to win a Stanley Cup during the first decade of his career. He could score upwards of 50, even 60 goals in a season, but was never able to get it done in the playoffs. But, after he won the Stanley Cup with the Capitals in 2018, his sights have been set on trying to score as many goals as possible. “I think Ovechkin is going to be able to break the record,” senior Ryeed Zaman said.

For most of Ovechkin’s career, surpassing Gretzky’s tally of 894 goals seemed nothing but insurmountable. This was mostly in part due to how long Ovechkin would have to play for and maintain a high level of scoring ability in order to get anywhere close to 894. But, Ovechkin is still a timeless wonder. At 37 years old, Ovi has scored 30 goals this season and has notched number 810 on his career. If he keeps playing at this All-Star caliber level, he should be able to pass Gretzky within the next two to three seasons and etch his name atop the history books.