December 2, 2021


The Washington Capitals have a special player, doing very special things.

Alex Ovechkin became the fifth-fastest player to reach 500 NHL goal on Sunday night, giving the Caps a 5-1 lead over the Ottawa Senators.

Much has been written about the “Great 8″ — good and bad. Over the years, he’s been celebrated, criticized, vilified, rehabilitated and now, feted as one of the league’s all-time best. It’s a plateau that not very many players reach, and, at 30, Ovechkin still has plenty of time to reach even more milestones.

There’s one achievement Ovechkin would still like to add, that of Stanley Cup Champion, and with the Caps enjoying perhaps their best season, maybe this is the year they finally can challenge for that.

But for now, Caps fans should fully enjoy Ovechkin’s achievement and appreciate it for what it is and what it means. Simply, he’s the greatest goal-scorer of this generation.

From the press release:

Ovechkin scored his 500th career goal in his 801st NHL game, trailing Wayne Gretzky (575 games), Mario Lemieux (605), Mike Bossy (647) and Brett Hull (693) as the fastest to reach the 500-goal plateau.

Ovechkin, 30, was selected by the Capitals in the first round, first overall, in the 2004 NHL Draft. The Moscow native has registered 933 points (500 goals, 433 assists) in 801 career games with Washington and became the first player in franchise history to reach 900 career points on Oct. 20, 2015 at Calgary. In addition, Ovechkin became the NHL’s leader in career goals by a Russian-born player on Nov. 19, 2015 against Dallas. Ovechkin ranks first in franchise history in goals (500), points (933), power-play goals (185), game-winning goals (85), overtime goals (16), shots (4,035) and multi-goal games (103). The 6’3”, 239-pound left wing is a three-time winner of the Hart Trophy and a five-time winner of the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy. Ovechkin led the NHL in goals (53) last season, becoming the sixth player in NHL history to record six 50-goal seasons, joining Bossy (9), Gretzky (9), Marcel Dionne (6), Guy Lafleur (6) and Lemieux (6).

Since entering the NHL at the beginning of the 2005-06 season, Ovechkin leads the NHL in goals (500), points (933), power-play goals (185), power-play points (367) and game-winning goals (85). In addition, Ovechkin leads the NHL in goals since 2001-02 despite beginning his NHL career in 2005. He is the only player in the NHL to score 30 or more goals in each season since 2005-06 and his average of 0.624 goals per game is fourth in NHL history (minimum: 300 games played), trailing only Bossy (0.762), Cy Denneny (0.755) and Lemieux (0.754).

About Dave Nichols

Dave Nichols is Editor-in-Chief of District Sports Page. He is credentialed to cover the Washington Nationals, Capitals, Wizards and Mystics. Dave also covers national college football and basketball and Major League Soccer for Associated Press and is a copy editor for the Spokesman-Review newspaper in Spokane, WA. He spent four years in radio covering the Baltimore Orioles, Washington Redskins and the University of Maryland football and basketball teams. Dave is a life-long D.C. sports fan and attended his first pro game in 1974 — the Caps’ second game in existence. You can follow him on Twitter @DaveNicholsDSP

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