While We Follow Alex Ovechkin's Chase Don't Forget To Enjoy The Journey

It's always about the journey and not the destination

Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals / Patrick Smith/GettyImages

We all know what we're watching. When it comes to Alex Ovechkin, it is historic. You don't need me, or you don't need anyone at all to tell you that. Ovechkin is chasing a record that I think a lot of us thought was probably unbreakable. Unless the sport and the game changed dramatically and goals were scored in bunches, it seemed the 894 goals scored by Wayne Gretzky was going to be safe for a long, long time.

Yet, here we are. Not only could the record fall, it seems incredibly likely to fall, and fall in the not so distant future. Ovechkin currently sits at 843 career goals, just 51 goals back of "The Great One". That could be short work for him. Ovechkin could break the record as early as next season for all we know.

At the end of this season I think Ovechkin lands somewhere between 28-30 goals. That would put him 42-44 goals away from Gretzky. When you look at how he has played this entire season I just tend to think it is unreasonable to ask him to score 40+ goals next season. It's Ovechkin. He has shown us he is a freak for nearly two decades with the Washington Capitals. I'm just going off what I think is common sense. He showed a bit of decline for half of this season. I can't predict a 39-year-old scoring 40 goals. Though I'm ready and willing to be proved wrong.

That means I think we are probably a year and a half away from seeing Ovechkin sit atop the record books. That's probably a lot longer than some want. But getting there is half the fun isn't it?

That's what I want to remind people today.

In sports I find people tend to get caugh up in what is happening right now. They see a big shiny object in the not so distant future and focus on that and almost that alone. In most cases it's a trophy, in our case here the Stanley Cup.

Take the Kansas City Chiefs for example. They have won three Super Bowls since 2020. They are the current back to back champions and what was something you heard so, so quickly after they won this past year? Three-peat!

It took literally minutes. Commentators, fans and players all were saying it. I'm not saying that Chiefs fans didn't enjoy the victory. But sports fans do tend to get caught up in results. "Ring culture" if you will. While it is fun to cheer on a winning team, or watch history potentially happen, it seems far too often fans don't take the time to sit back and enjoy something.

That's what I want to make sure Capitals fans remember and do for the next little while.

What we're seeing is amazing, historic, use whatever word you want for Ovechkin chasing the goal scoring record. Just don't forget to take a second during the next game, during the next point or hopefully the next goal and soak it in. You won't get this again. You are not getting these moments again, you will not see a player like this again.

Ovechkin is 38-years-old. He'll be 39 before next season starts. Who knows how much longer we'll get to watch this.

Ovechkin has said multiple times that he would like the finish his career playing at home in Russia. This career doesn't have that much time left. Something that also doesn't have much time left is his current contract. His current deal goes to the end of the 2025-26 season. Early 25-26 is when I think Ovechkin ultimately breaks the record. Does he break the record, play out the rest of the season and go home having scored 900+ career goals?

Who knows. If that were to be true we have just over two years and somewhere around 180 games left of Ovechkin in Washington. That could be it. Enjoy it!

We all get caught up in ring culture these days unfortunately. We can all get caught up in a chase for something. But we watch sports for entertainment. We watch sports to watch these incredibly talented people do things we could only dream of doing. And far too often I see and hear people not fully enjoy something until it has gone away.

Whether a team wins or not enjoy the good memories they gave you anyways. Whether a player spends close to two decades on your team or is there just a little while, enjoy watching them in your teams colors.

The next goal Ovechkin scores, let the Gretzky chase enter you mind. Then enjoy the last nineteen years. Take a minute to enjoy goal 844 before thinking about goal 845 and beyond. We've seen a lot of goals. We are bound to see more. But how many more? In the grand scheme of things probably not that many more.

To some this will be a dumb thing to say. Some might find what I say useful. And of course for others this will go in one eye and out the other.

But I've talked to too many fans, I've seen the fans of losing teams now and how they act. How they say "man I miss those days" or "I really miss X player".

It's not to say they didn't enjoy. But I really feel a lot of fans forget to appreciate while something is happening.

Don't let that happen with Ovechkin and his chase to officially be the greatest goal scorer ever. Capitals fans take a second to enjoy and appreciate the moment we have. Because in the not so distant future, it will probably be gone.