Washington Capitals: Alex Ovechkin chases history

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 04: Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals celebrates a goal by teammate Tom Wilson #43 (not pictured) during the first period of Game Four of the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Final against the Vegas Golden Knights at Capital One Arena on June 4, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 04: Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals celebrates a goal by teammate Tom Wilson #43 (not pictured) during the first period of Game Four of the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Final against the Vegas Golden Knights at Capital One Arena on June 4, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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Washington Capitals legend Alex Ovechkin is one of the all-time great goal scorers in the game. Here is who he will pass on the goal list next.

Alex Ovechkin sits on the verge of history. The Washington Capitals captain will jump into the top 15 goal scorers in NHL history before Christmas.

By the start of the 2020-21 season, Ovechkin should be knocking on the door of the top ten. Who sits at ten? Mario Lemieux and his 690 goals. Yes, two 40-plus goal seasons and Ovechkin is right there.

He starts this year at 607 tallies and 19th overall. For this list, we are not combining the NHL and WHA lists. Strictly, Ovechkin’s attack on the NHL record book. One, if he stays healthy and productive the next five years, could see him break into the top five all-time.

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Ovechkin’s next goal ties him with Dino Ciccarelli at 608. When you consider the Caps play Pittsburgh the second night of the season in the Iron City, there is a possibility it happens against the Penguins.

When Ovechkin scores his third of the season, he ties Bobby Hull at 610. A remarkable achievement. A fourth goal passes Hull for 17th on the list.

Sometime around the holidays, Ovechkin should flirt with his 19th of the season. When he does, he passes the recently retired Jarome Iginla and Joe Sakic at 625. The next goal puts Ovechkin into 15th place by himself. And a Happy 2019 to him.

Dave Andreychuk is next at 640. As the season hits the last third, Ovechkin should pass him for 14th. Not bad for 14 seasons.

The assault on the record book stops as the playoffs start. On that account, he has 61 postseason goals in 121 games.

If you assume another 40-goal campaign, and he has done that four out of the last five seasons, Ovechkin starts the 2019-20 season staring at Brendan Shanahan’s 656 mark at 13. Luc Robitaille follows at 668 and Teemu Selanne with 684. Again, back-to-back 40-goal seasons passes Selanne.

And flirting with Lemieux at tenth all-time.

A 30-goal season gets Ovechkin all the way to sixth. Steve Yzerman, Mark Messier, an old friend Mike Gartner and Phil Esposito will move down a notch. Esposito’s mark is 717. Some 84 goals out of second place and Gordie Howe.

If you really want to be creative, Ovechkin needs 287 to pass Wayne Gretzky. Hard to see the Russian playing another ten years to do it. But, 700 is realistic. So is 750, which passes Brett Hull for fourth.

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When the Washington Capitals drafted Alex Ovechkin, they could only dream of this production. As with winning the Stanley Cup, sometimes you can live the dream.