Goal scoring is way up in the National Hockey League this season, which is great for the fans.
So far this season, we are seeing a ton of high-scoring games, goaltenders struggling to keep the puck out of the net, and teams trying to change their defensive styles in order to at least try and cut down their goals against. It certainly has not been easy and it looks like it is not going to stop, which is very surprising since it is almost January.
One player that continues to put the puck in the net at an incredible pace is someone that no one should be surprised about anymore. This particular player has been doing it his entire career and right now, there does not appear to be an end in sight for this player when it comes to scoring goals.
If you have not guess it by now, I am talking about Washington Capitals’ franchise player, All-Star, Stanley Cup Winner, and goal scoring machine Alex Ovechkin. This is his 14th season and all he has done since he first came onto the scene is score goals.
Ovechkin, 33, leads the league with 29 goals. Yes, by the time the league hits is All-Star break, he should be well over 30 goals. Heck, at the rate he is putting the puck in the net this season, he could be near the 40-goal mark.
His true goal-scoring greatness came back on both December 11 and December 14. He scored back-to-back hat tricks against the Detroit Red Wings and Carolina Hurricanes, which at his age, is remarkable.
What’s also remarkable is the fact that as mentioned above, he leads the league in goals. In a league with so many young players who can put the puck in the net, Ovechkin still stands above the rest.
I am talking about guys like Jeff Skinner (26), Gabriel Landeskog (24), John Tavares (24), David Pastrnak (23), Cam Atkinson (23), Patrik Laine (23), Nathan MacKinnon (22), and Mark Scheifele (22). A player like Auston Matthews, who has scored 19 goals in 23 games could potentially end up catching up if he keeps putting the puck in the net like he has been, but even that could be a pipe dream as Ovechkin will probably continue to put the puck in the net as well.
When it comes to scoring goals, that is all Ovechkin does year in and year out for this franchise. He has 636 career goals, seven Maurice Richard Trophies as the league-leading goal scorer (2008,-09, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2018), he is the active leader in career hat tricks (22) and is tied for 12th all-time in that same category, has 237 career goals on the power play, and to go along all of that, he has 61 career playoff goals.
At a somewhat reasonable age for an NHLer, it makes you wonder how many more goals he is going to score. As you all know, Wayne Gretzky is the all-time leader in goals with 894. If Ovechkin is currently 15th all-time.
It is possible, possible being the key word, that Ovechkin can catch him. While it still may be a bit of a long shot, one should never count out Ovechkin when it comes to scoring goals because when it comes doing that, he may end up being the best when all is said and done.
*Photo: Sports Illustrated