We’ve been previewing each player one by one but over here at Stars and Sticks we love talking about Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin a lot. You usually see an article, or several, each week about the great eight.
So when it came time for me to sit down and finally preview Ovechkin’s season I had a lot on my mind and wasn’t sure which direction for this to go in.
So let’s get the basics out of the way. Last season Ovechkin scored 42 goals and 33 assists for 75 points. Doing the math, it was his 13th season out of 18 that he eclipsed 40 or more.
But I wouldn’t read too much into that. Some seasons had lockouts that made it shorter. Others had pandemics that made it shorter.
But then comes question we must ask every year, can Ovechkin still dominate?
As annoying and repetitive as it sounds, it’s still a topic that must be addressed in the dog days of summer. On September 17, Ovechkin will turn 38. The fact that he’s very close to 40 years old is scary and sad at the same time.
It’s mostly sad, however, than scary. It’s sad that we don’t have many games left of watching the great eight and that someday he will retire. But that’s sports. All the athletes do it and every single one will cross that bridge eventually. Some cross that bridge earlier than others due to unfortunate circumstances.
As the great eight sits at 822 career goals, he needs 72 to tie Wayne Gretzky and 73 to reach the magic number of 895. It won’t happen this season but that doesn’t mean hibernate for a whole year.
Ovechkin still has two milestones he can accomplish. One would put him all alone for the most 50 goals in NHL history if he can reach that number one more time. The other is very likely to happen earlier in the season as he’s 15 points away from 1,500.
But if Ovechkin can score in the 40-50 range, we could all be watching NHL history one year from now. It’s up to him and ultimately his body to see if he’s still got it.