Photo: Washington Capitals
The 2021-22 NHL season should be a regular-sized season of 82 games, unlike the 2020-21 season, which was shortened to 56 games because of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the season unfolds, several players on the Capitals’ roster could reach career milestones in a number of statistical categories, including Games Played, Goals, Assists, and Points.
In this article, NoVa Caps’ Diane Doyle examine’s regular season milestones for Capitals players that could be reached this season.
Games Played Milestones
- Alex Ovechkin has played in 1,197 games, which ranks seventh among active players, fifth among active forwards, fourth among Russian-born players, and first among active Russians. He has played in more games than any other player in Washington Capitals’ history. He needs to play in just three more games to reach the 1200 games milestone.
- Nicklas Backstrom has played in 1,011 games, which is second in franchise history, trailing only Alex Ovechkin. He ranks 14th among Swedish-born players, 22nd among active forwards, and 29th among active players. He will likely come close to the 1,100 games milestone and likely pass that milestone during the 2022-23 season.
- John Carlson has played in 809 games and now ranks eighth on the Capitals’ all-time list. He is in second place on the franchise list for Games Played by a defenseman, behind only Calle Johansson. He also ranks 76th among active NHL players, 22nd among active defensemen, ranks 98th among American-born players, 20th among active American-born players, and 37th among American-born defensemen, and sixth among active American defensemen. If he plays in at least 64 games this season, he would pass Michal Pivonka (825) and Dale Hunter (872) and be sixth in Games Played for the franchise.
- T. J. Oshie has played in 856 games, which ranks 63rd among active players, 45th among active forwards, 16th among active American players and eleventh among active American-born forwards. He has played 413 games with the Capitals, which ranks 44th in franchise history.
- Lars Eller has played 798 games and ranks 55th among active forwards and 79th among active players. He ranks second in games played by a Danish player.
- Tom Wilson has played 569 games and ranks 25th on the all-time list of games played in franchise history and 13th among forwards. He needs to play in 31 games during the 2021-22 season to pass the 600 games played threshold.
- Dmitry Orlov has played 567 games, which ranks 22nd overall in franchise history and 12th among defenseman. He also now ranks 62nd for active NHL defenseman. He is second among active Russian defensemen in games played, second only to Dmitri Kulikov. He ranks 17th all time in games played by a Russian defenseman. Only one other Russian has played in more games for the franchise on defense (Sergei Gonchar). He needs to play in 33 games during the 2021-22 season to pass the 600 games played threshold.
- Evgeny Kuznetsov has now played in 520 games, now ranking 27th in franchise history in Games Played, fifth among active Russian forwards, ninth among active Russians, and 32nd among Russian forwards all time. If he plays in at least 80 games, he will reach the 600 games played milestone.
Photo: Bruce Bennett/USA Today
Goals Scored Milestones
- Alexander Ovechkin Going into the 2020-21 season, Ovechkin has scored 730 career goals, which ranks sixth on the all-time goals scored list. He needs just one goal to tie Marcel Dionne (731), 11 more goals to tie Brett Hull (741), and 36 more to tie Jaromir Jagr (766). If he exceeds 36 goals this coming season, he will be in sole possession of third place on the NHL’s All-Time list.
- Nicklas Backstrom At the start of the 2020-21 season, Backstrom has scored 258 goals in his career, which ranks fourth on the Capitals’ all-time list. It will take several more seasons before he reaches Gartner’s 397 goals, which ranks third on the franchise list. He is tied for 34th among active players for goals scored in a career with Wayne Simmonds. He is also 11th in goals scored among Swedish-born players. If he scores seven goals, he would pass Kent Nilsson, Thomas Steen, and Nicklas Lidstrom who all have 264 goals. He would then rank in eighth place among Swedes all time, a milestone that will likely happen during the 2021-22 season. He needs 42 goals to reach the 300 goals threshold and 43 goals to tie Ulf Dahlen for seventh place among Swedes.
- T.J. Oshie has scored 260 goals, which ranks 33rd among active players and 49th all-time for Americans, 36th among American forwards, twelfth among active American-born players, and eighth among active American-born forwards. Oshie also ranks 34th on the Capitals’ all-time list with 150 goals in a Capitals sweater and sixth among active players for the franchise.
- Evgeny Kuznetsov has scored 129 goals in his career, which ranks 22nd in franchise history and 20th among forwards. He ranks 34th among Russian players on the all time list and is eighth place among active Russian players.
- John Carlson has scored 115 goals in his career heading into the 2021-22 season, which is fifth in franchise history for defensemen and 24th overall in franchise history. He ranks first for active American defensemen, eleventh for all American defensemen, eleventh among active defensemen, and 75th for all defensemen.
- Nicklas Backstrom is currently the Capitals’ career leader in assists with 722. He is also third among active players, and 50th on the all-time list. He ranks fourth in assists by a Swedish-born player and first among all active Swedes. With 53 more assists, he would tie Mats Sundin, who currently ranks third on the All-Time List among Swedes. He will likely catch up to Sundin during the 2022-23 season.
- Alexander Ovechkin currently ranks second all-time in assists for the Capitals with 590 assists, which also ranks 11th on the active list and tied for 95th on the all-time list. He ranks seventh in assists among Russian players, fifth among Russian forwards, and is second among active Russians, only behind Evgeny Malkin. He needs one assist to catch up to Sergei Gonchar (591), nine to catch up to Alex Kovalev (599), 10 to reach the 600 assist threshold, 14 to catch Pavel Datsuk (604), and 29 to tie Sergei Zubrov (619). If he passes all those players in assists, he would rank third on the all time assist list for Russian players, behind only Evgeny Malkin (680 and counting), and Sergei Fedorov (699).
- John Carlson currently has recorded 407 assists, which ranks fourth on the Capitals’ All-Time List, first among defensemen in franchise history, ninth among active NHL defensemen, 33rd among active NHL players, third among active American defensemen, ninth among active American players, and 40th among American born players. He would need nine assists to tie Michal Pivonka (418) for third on the All Time franchise list.
- T.J. Oshie currently has 350 assists, which is tied for 47th among active players, tied for 34th among active forwards, 11th among active American-born players and eighth among active American-born forwards. He ranks 34th in franchise history for assists with 150.
- Evgeny Kuznetsov currently has 289 assists, which ranks thirteenth in franchise history and 10th among forwards. He is fifth among all active Russian forwards, all active Russian players, and 22nd all-time among all Russians. He also ranks 81st among all active players and 61st among all active forwards.
- Dmitry Orlov currently has 157 career assists which ranks 32nd in franchise history. He ranks 13th among all Russian defensemen, first among all active Russian defensemen, 48th among all Russians, and ninth for all active Russian players.
Total Points Milestones
- Alex Ovechkin currently has 1,320 points, good enough for first on the Capitals’ all-time list and third among active players, trailing only Joe Thornton (1,509) and Sidney Crosby (1,325). He now ranks 35th on the all-time list.
- Nicklas Backstrom currently has 980 career points, which ranks second for the franchise only behind Alex Ovechkin. He is in 10th place among all active players and active forwards. He now ranks sixth in career points among Swedish-born players. He would need 20 points to reach the 1000 point threshold which will likely happen during the 2021-22 season.
- T.J. Oshie currently has 610 career points. He ranks 34th among active players, 30th among active forwards, eighth among active American-born players, and eighth among active American-born forwards. He has recorded 300 points with the Capitals which is tied for 25th with Dmitri Khristich.
- John Carlson currently has 522 career points, which ranks ninth in franchise history in points, first among defensemen for the franchise, tenth among active defensemen, third among active American-born defensemen, 59th for American players, and 15th among active American-born players. If he records at least 35 points this season, he would rank sixth in franchise history and would pass Mike Ridley (547), Bengt Gustafsson (554), and Dale Hunter (556) in career points for the franchise.
- Evgeny Kuznetsov currently has 418 career points, which ranks 14th in franchise history and tenth among forwards. He ranks 96th among active players and 80th among active forwards. He also ranks sixth among active Russian players and 24th among all Russian NHL players.
- Lars Eller currently has 317 career points. He currently ranks third among Danish players in NHL points and second among active Danes, ranking only behind Frans Nielsen. As the Detroit Red Wings bought him out after the 2020-21 season and he has not yet signed a new contract with any other team, he may not be active next season, which would leave Eller in first place for active Danish players.
Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHL via Getty Images
Power Play Goals
- Alex Ovechkin currently has 269 power play goals, which ranks first on the Capitals’ all-time franchise list, first among Russian players, and first among active players, but now second on the all-time List. He needs five more power play goals to catch up to Dave Andreychuk, who ranks first on he all-time list with 274 and six more to take over first place.
- Nicklas Backstrom currently has 79 power play goals which ranks fourth on the franchise list and is now tied for 27th place with T.J. Oshie among active players, tied with Oshie for 25th place among active forwards, and ranks 12th among Swedish-born players.
- T.J. Oshie has 79 power play goals, which is tied for 27th with Nicklas Backstrom among all active NHL players, tied for 25th with Backstrom among active forwards, 34th among American players, and sixth place among active American players and active American forwards. He has scored 56 power play goals with the Caps. He is now tied for eighth place in Caps franchise history with Michal Pivonka and is third place among active players in franchise history.
- Evgeny Kuznetsov has 56 power play goals which ranks 24th in franchise history and fourth among active Capitals players. He ranks 36th among all Russian players and eighth among active Russians.
- John Carlson has 30 power play goals, which is tied for 18th among active defensemen with Duncan Keith, tied for 36th with Tyler Johnson among active Americans, 22nd among American defensemen and fifth among active American defenseman. He is tied for 27th place in franchise history with Troy Brouwer and Steve Konowalchuk, 7th in franchise history among defensemen, 1st among active defensemen, and 5th among active players in the franchise.
- Alex Ovechkin currently has 116 game-winning goals, which is fourth on the all-time list and first among active players. He needs two more game winning goals to tie Phil Esposito (118), and four more game winning goals to tie Gordie Howe (120).
- Nicklas Backstrom currently has 38 game-winning goals, which ranks fourth on the Caps’ all-time list, third among active Swedish players, tied for 14thplace with Henrik Sedin among all Swedes, and tied at 41th with Blake Wheeler among active players
- John Carlson currently has 25 game winning goals which ranks 11th in franchise history and third among active Capitals players
- Evgeny Kuznetsov has 24 game winning goals which ranks 12th in franchise history and fourth among active Capitals players. He ranks seventh among active Russian players and 27th all time among Russians.
By Dine Doyle
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