The 2019-20 season had it’s memorable moments for the Washington Capitals but nobody provided a bigger one than Alex Ovechkin.
What’s ironic about this iconic Washington Capitals moment is that it’s the biggest moment of the season. Of course it involves Alex Ovechkin. But one thing you wouldn’t expect was the biggest moment of the season had the end result of a Capitals loss.
The date was Feb. 22 at Prudential Center in Newark. It was Spongebob Squarepants Day for the Devils fans in attendance. For the Caps fans who made the trip up north, it was 700vi Day.
The Devils would go up 1-0 in the first at 12:55 with a goal from Jesper Bratt. Wayne Simmonds made it 2-0 at 12:12 of the second on the power play before the Caps got on the board with a power play goal of their own from Tom Wilson at 14:44.
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In the third period was when it all happened. At 4:50 Ovechkin fired a one-timer from Evgeny Kuznetsov from the right face-off circle to tie the game and set off a wild celebration. The entire Capitals bench emptied to mob the great eight after his historic achievement.
Scoring 700 goals is significant. We may never see another player come close to that number again. Luckily for us as Capitals fans we get to watch Ovechkin go on the chase for Wayne Gretzky’s record night after night.
Ovechkin joined an elite group of Gretzky, Gordie Howe, Jaromir Jagr, Brett Hull, Marcel Dionne, Phil Esposito, and Mike Gartner as the only other players to reach 700 goals.
“It’s a special moment. When you get close you start thinking when it’s going to happen. Finally, it’s over so we don’t have to talk about it anymore. We’re going to move on,” Ovechkin told the media after the game.
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Ovechkin’s journey was something else. He scored 16 goals in 10 games to get him to 698 from Jan. 7 to Feb. 4 which included three hat tricks. After that it took Ovechkin six games to get to 699 before finally netting 700 two days later.
“It was obviously a matter of time, but that was a huge goal for us at the time. Amazing to be able to watch it live and in person. To be able to go through the last six years with (Ovechkin) has been amazing to watch. Certainly a superstar in my time, the best goal-scorer that I’ve ever seen,” said Capitals head coach Todd Reirden.
It is that moment of Ovechkin reaching 700 goals that will be the top moment of the season whether it continues or not. Here’s hoping we get to see 800 and more.