Photo: Getty Images
The NHL announced on Thursday that Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin will share the Maurice Rocket Richard Trophy with Boston Bruins forward David Pastrnak after each led the NHL with 48 goals during the regular season. This is the ninth time and third straight that Ovechkin has won the award.
The NHL and players association have been taking the past two days to decide whether goals and points in the play-in round should be counted as if it were regular season but decided on Thursday not to count them.
Ovechkin entered January 13 nine goals behind Pastrnak for the league-lead, making many think his two-year scoring champion streak was in jeopardy. The 34-year-old responded with eight goals in his next three games, including back-to-back hat-tricks for the third straight year against the New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders.
His 22 goals in 22 games after January 12 was second in the NHL behind only New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad, who scored 24 in 26 games. The 34-year-old recorded 14 goals and 15 points in a span of seven games from January 13 to February 4, which included three hat-tricks.
Ovechkin passed five hall-of-famers throughout the season to jump into eighth place on the NHL’s all-time scoring list with 706 career goals.
Ovechkin has led or tied the NHL in goals nine times in his NHL career, the most in NHL history. He became only the third player at least 34 years old to do so.
Ovechkin also recorded eight goals in his final 10 games of the regular season.
From The Caps
Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin won his third straight and NHL-record ninth overall Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy. Ovechkin tied Boston’s David Pastrnak for the NHL lead with 48 goals during the 2019-20 regular season. No other player has won the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy more than twice since its creation in 1998-99. This marks the seventh time Ovechkin has received the trophy in the last eight seasons.
Ovechkin is the third player in NHL history to lead the League in goals at the age of 34 or older, joining Bill Cook (1932-33: 28g in 48 games) and Gordie Howe (1962-63: 38g in 70 games). Additionally, Ovechkin is just the fourth player in NHL history to score 48 or more goals in a season at age 34 or older, joining Jaromir Jagr in 2005-06 (54g; age 34), Johnny Bucyk in 1970-71 (51g; age 35) and Teemu Selanne in 2006-07 (48g, age 36). Of Ovechkin’s 48 goals, 35 were scored at even strength, the fourth-highest total of his career. His 48 goals were the second-most Ovechkin has scored in a single season when scoring 13 or fewer power play goals (2009-10: 50G, 37 ESG, 13 PPG).
With 13 games remaining prior to the season suspension, Ovechkin was on pace for 57 goals, which would have been the second-highest total of his career, his highest total since 2007-08 (65g) and the ninth time Ovechkin would have reached the 50-goal mark. Ovechkin was on pace to join Wayne Gretzky and Mike Bossy as the only players in NHL history with nine 50-goal seasons. He would have also joined Phil Esposito as the only players in NHL history to record at least three 50-goal seasons after their 30th birthday (Esposito: four). Additionally, Ovechkin would have become the second-oldest player in NHL history to record a 50-goal season, only trailing Buyck (35 years, 308 days old at the conclusion of the 1970-71 season).
On Feb. 22 against the New Jersey Devils, Ovechkin became the eighth and the second fastest player in NHL history to reach the 700-career goal mark. Ovechkin reached the milestone in his 1,144th career game, trailing only Wayne Gretzky (886 games). With 706 career goals, Ovechkin is three goals shy of passing Mike Gartner (708) for the seventh most goals in NHL history. During the 2019-20 season, Ovechkin passed Luc Robitaille (668), Selanne (684), Mario Lemieux (690), Steve Yzerman (692) and Mark Messier (694) on the NHL’s all-time scoring list.
From Jan. 13 through Feb. 4, Ovechkin scored 14 goals over a span of seven games, a stretch which included three hat tricks. On Feb. 4 against the Los Angeles Kings, Ovechkin recorded his first career natural hat trick with three goals in the final seven minutes of regulation, additionally becoming the first player to score three hat tricks over a span of six games (also Jan. 16 vs. New Jersey and Jan. 18 at New York Islanders) since 1992-93, when Alexander Mogilny (Buffalo) and Selanne (Winnipeg) combined for the feat.
In addition to his nine Maurice “Rocket” Richard trophies, Ovechkin has won a Stanley Cup, a Conn Smythe Trophy, a Calder Trophy, an Art Ross Trophy, three Hart Memorial Trophies and three Ted Lindsay Awards. He is the only player in NHL history to win a Stanley Cup, a Conn Smythe, a Calder, an Art Ross, a Hart, a Ted Lindsay and a Maurice Richard Trophy.
By Harrison Brown