Before the start of this season, the best hockey sniper of our time, Alexander Ovechkin, signed a new contract with the Washington Capitals. So far, there is little point in talking about whether Ovechkin will be able to beat Wayne Gretzky’s “eternal” record for goals – the gap to the Great is too large to use mathematical calculations. Another thing is that for the very existence of this chance, albeit small, one should be grateful to the Russian. And it is worth remembering those goals of Ovechkin, which in North America are called “milestones”, milestones – that is, the most important milestones in career advancement.
First NHL goal (October 5, 2005)
It didn’t take long for Ovechkin to become his own in the NHL. Alexander made his debut for Washington on October 5, 2005 at the age of 20, and in the very first meeting he scored a double goal. Ovechkin became the first player in Capitals history to score two goals in his debut match – he should thank the Columbus goalkeeper Pascal Leclair for such an achievement.
By the way, Ovechkin always played brilliantly against Columbus. In 37 games with the Blue Jackets, he scored 28 points (18 goals), and Leclair shipped 5 goals.
100th NHL Goal (October 12, 2007)
It took Alexander just over two seasons and 166 matches to reach the first milestone. Ovechkin’s hundredth puck came against the New York Rangers and the legendary Henrik Lundqvist… True, Stolichny lost that match (1: 3), but this goal was very important for Alexander.
Ovechkin scored a lot for the Rangers too: 33 goals and 53 points in 58 regular season games. Lundqvist took out the puck after Ovi’s shots 24 times – more than any other NHL goalkeeper, and it’s a pity that, due to heart disease, fate deprived Lundqvist of the chance to play with Ovechkin, who scored 3.4% of all goals against the Swede. their goals in the NHL.
200th NHL goal (February 5, 2009)
Two years later, after the first hundred goals, the number reached 200. Again this happened when playing against a great goalkeeper – this time the opponent was Jonathan Quick from Los Angeles, which Washington lost (4: 5). In that meeting, Quick played superbly (41 saves after 45 shots), and in his career Jonathan rarely conceded from Alexander (7 goals) – after all, teams play in different conferences and are rare.
300th NHL goal (April 5, 2011)
Two more years passed, and Alexander hit a new milestone – he scored his 300th goal in the overseas regular championships. It was abandoned at the Toronto gate, which was defended by James Rymer, and that match “Washington” won in a series of free throws (3: 2).
“Toronto” is one of the favorite “clients” of Alexander Ovechkin. In 50 matches, he scored 41 goals and 73 points to the Maple Leaves. He threw Reimer 6 times.
400th NHL goal (December 20, 2013)
It took less than two years to reach the new cutoff. The 400th goal in Ovechkin’s career turned out to be mundane and was scored into the empty net of Carolina. The Hurricanes suffered from Ovechkin extremely often, since for many years Washington and Carolina were neighbors in the Southeast Division and constantly played with each other.
In 81 matches against the Hurricanes, the Russian scored 95 points (43 goals), and Cam Ward shot 19 times, which is not so bad for a goalkeeper.
Best Russian sniper in NHL history (December 20, 2015)
This puck has a non-circular number 484, but it was she who made Alexander Ovechkin the best Russian goalscorer in the history of the National Hockey League. Ovechkin surpassed the achievement by one goal Sergey Fedorov, hitting the gate of the Dallas Stars.
The gate of the Texans defended Kari Lehtonen, who would have remembered Ovechkin with less horror if he had played longer in the Western Conference. But before Dallas, he played for the lousy Atlanta, and got 22 cans from Alexander. The Russian scored 10 times against the Stars, playing 20 matches.
500th NHL Goal (January 10, 2016)
Soon after Fedorov’s record breaking was followed by a new milestone in the form of the 500th goal. He was hammered into the goal Andrew Hammond from “Ottawa”, and that meeting “Stolichnye” won crushingly (7: 1). The first goal of the sixth hundred was scored by Alexander in the same game.
Hammond, surprisingly, did not miss Ovechkin anymore – too rarely he appeared at the gate. And in 48 matches against the Senators, Alexander scored 51 points (31 goals).
600th NHL Goal (12 March 2018)
This time it was again a scoring double, but this time against Winnipeg (former Atlanta), which was defended by the future owner of Vezina Connor Hellebike… The goalkeeper was not yet as good as he is now, and he could not complain about Ovi – except for those two goals, he never missed anything from Alexander. The teams meet only twice a season, so Ovechkin has very little chance of upsetting Hellebike.
700th NHL Goal (22 February 2020)
Ovechkin issued his last round number of goals at the moment more than a year ago, having recorded in a number of victims Mackenzie Blackwood from New Jersey. Washington then lost, and Blackwood conceded his second goal of his career from Alexander. In 57 games against the Devils, the Russian scored 64 points (30 goals).
Now Ovechkin has 730 goals. When it comes to the 800th puck, he will become the third player in history, after Gretzky and Gordie Howe, to reach that number. True, this is unlikely to happen this season.