Washington Capitals left winger Alex Ovechkin has already began training for a big season coming up.
Alex Ovechkin has defied age, won numerous awards, led the Washington Capitals to the Stanley Cup and even won the first season of fatherhood. Many could say he’s done all one could possibly want to succeed in an NHL career. Time says the clock is ticking. The contract itself that Ovechkin signed enters the penultimate season.
Ovechkin will turn 34 on September 17, the time the preseason gets underway. If the last two seasons are any indication, age is just a number. But what makes this recent surge by Ovechkin more impressive, which began to really take fire in a shortened season in 2013, is that six of Ovechkin’s last seven seasons have seen him play his best hockey.
He’s led the league in goals in those said seasons and even in his down year of 2016-17 with 33, he still led the NHL with 17 strikes on the power play.
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In the last two seasons we’ve all witnessed Ovechkin live his best life both on and off the ice. A 49-goal season and a playoff run for the ages the culminated in taking home the Conn Smythe trophy and the biggest trophy of all, the Stanley Cup. Ovechkin scored 15 that spring including the first goal of Game 3 when the Finals came to D.C. as well as the Game 5 Cup clincher in Vegas on a familiar connection with Nicklas Backstrom.
Ovechkin had the best summer of his life. From taking in a ballgame at Nationals Park, Cup stands, a parade down Constitution Ave, two epic days with the Cup in Moscow, Russia as well as him and his wife Nastya giving birth to their first child Sergei. Ovechkin still found time to train and gear up for a new season.
Ovechkin picked up exactly where he left off. He scored 51 goals in the regular season and him and Backstrom helped carry the Capitals in their seven-game first round series with the Carolina Hurricanes. They were atop the leaderboard but with Backstrom leading in goals 5-4 and Ovechkin leading in assists 5-3. Nope not a typo. Ovechkin even joked about it saying he was Backstrom.
With a longer offseason, Ovechkin had more time to rest and recover but is in no doubt gearing up for another big season. He represented Russia at the IIHF Worlds and won a bronze medal. He also took home his second straight ESPY Award as the Best NHL Player. He began training for next season. Soon Ovechkin will head to Beijing, China in early August, week of the fourth, to serve as an NHL international ambassador.
My early prediction on Ovechkin for the 2019-20 season isn’t if he’ll score 50 goals but when that will occur. Sitting at 658, he could even have a decent season of 42 goals to hit that big 700.
I predict Ovechkin to hit the 42 number on Thursday, March 12 at Capital One Arena when the Capitals play host the Detroit Red Wings. Anticipate Ovechkin reaching his 50th in Washington’s fourth to last game on March 30th in Buffalo against the Sabres.