Age and daddy time being undefeated doesn’t apply to Alex Ovechkin. Ever since hoisting Lord Stanley’s Cup on June 7th, Ovechkin is playing like a weight as big as an 800 pound gorilla is off his shoulder. A lot of people thought Ovi’s numbers were going to regress moving forward once he hit age 30. It looked that way starting out going from 50 goals in 79 games in 2015-16 to just 33 the next season in all 82 games until Ovechkin arrived in great shape prior to last season’s training camp. The summer workouts paid off as Ovechkin came flying out the gates with seven goals in his first two games of that season, including back-to-back hat tricks.
That roaring start propelled Ovechkin to a 49-goal season and nearly notching 50 in the season finale. Once again Ovi played in every game and his leadership carried the Capitals all the way to their first Stanley Cup. Along the way, Ovechkin accomplished scoring 600 career goals and playing in 1,000 games.
Off the ice over the summer, aside from the excessive drinking and Cup stands, Alex and his wife Nastya Ovechkina welcomed their first child, a baby boy named Sergei whom Alex named after his late brother. One would think a Stanley Cup hangover and the birth of your first child would slow things down the next season, however, Alex is determined to lead the Capitals to another Stanley Cup title and another summer’s worth of partying.
Ovechkin’s best season in his 14 year career came in his third as a 22-year old. That year saw Ovechkin score 65 goals, lead the Capitals to the Southeast Division title and to the playoffs for the first time in the “Rock the Red” era, and capture his first Hart Trophy as the league’s MVP. As a 33-year old currently, Ovechkin has a chance to pass that mark believe it or not. Through just 32 games played, and it’s not even Christmas yet, Ovechkin has scored 29 goals on the season. Last week might’ve been his best week as he was named the NHL’s First Star of the Week.
Ovechkin had hat tricks in back-to-back games against the Red Wings and Hurricanes and added a goal Saturday against the Sabres too. In the last six contests, dating back to a loss against the Golden Knights on Dec. 4, Ovi has scored a goal. In total, he’s got 10 goals in those six games, needing one more to tie his career high which came in his rookie season (Feb. 10-March 8, 2006, seven). One of Ovechkin’s goals against the Hurricanes came on the power play which was the 237th of his career which passed Mario Lemieux for seventh place on the NHL’s all-time list for power play goals.
Ovechkin enters tonight’s game against the Penguins needing just 15 points to pass NHL legend Sergei Fedorov (1,179) for most points in NHL history by a Russian-born player. Ovechkin is also on a 14-game point streak which is both a personal best and season-high. He was just a sophomore in the league during his last highest mark which was 13 games. Ovechkin has 17 goals in those 14 games. The Caps franchise record for most consecutive games with a point is 17 which Mike Gartner accomplished twice (Feb. 25, 1981 through April 2, 1981 and Oct. 11, 1984 through Nov. 21, 1984).
Ovechkin has 58 points (35 goals and 23 assists) in 54 career games against the Pittsburgh Penguins and leads all active NHL players in goals and points against the Penguins. After beating the Penguins already back in early-November thanks to a game-winning goal by T.J. Oshie, Ovechkin and the Caps are determined to get their sixth consecutive win. Puck drop is at 8 p.m.