There will come a time in the future, that Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin will start to begin the gradual decline in performance that plagues aging athletes as their career progresses into their late thirties. Fortunately for the Caps and the NHL, Ovi doesn’t seem to be slowing down one bit.
Already in his 11th NHL season, Ovechkin is 31-years old and is now on what many call the “wrong side of 30”. However, The Great Eight has started off the 2016-17 season doing what he’s done consistently throughout his Hall of Fame-caliber career: scoring goals.
Through the first six games of the season, Ovechkin has four goals and one assist for five points. Despite a rocky start for the Caps, Ovechkin is currently on pace for 55 goals and 14 assists for 69 points in a full 82-game season. While the assist and point totals are inevitably going to increase, it does prove that age hasn’t yet caught up to Ovechkin despite his physical, hard-nosed style of play.
In 845 career games, Ovechkin has scored 529 goals, a feat not many players can say they’ve done. What’s amazing, is that he’s done it all in a time where scoring, for the most part, has been considerably lower than in the past. He has seven 50-goal seasons (two less than the all-time record of nine, held by Hall of Famers Wayne Gretzky and Mike Bossy) and if one applies Hockey Reference’s score adjuster, the former first overall pick has eight 50-goal seasons, and three 60-goal seasons.
The amazing thing about Ovechkin is that, in all matter of speaking, he’s technically still in his prime. Because he’s stayed relatively healthy in his career, despite his physical style of play, and because he finds ways to score in almost any offensive situation, Ovechkin could find himself at or near the top of the all-time goals-scored list amongst immortal names such as Gretzky, Hull, and Howe. And if his strong start is anything to go by, Ovi is nowhere near finished.
By Michael Fleetwood