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Dennis Maruk and One Caps Record Ovechkin Won’t Get
Forget points in a season, Dennis Maruk will always have a better mustache than Alex Ovechkin.
As Caps captain Alex Ovechkin continues his assault on Peter Bondra‘s team records, there’s one that is simply out of reach. Career shorthanded goals? That too, but we’re talking about Capitals points in a season, a record held by Dennis Maruk, who tallied 136 in 1981-82.
“To be in that elite group is unbelievable,” Maruk said while in town for the Winter Classic. “I look back to that year when Gretzky had 92 goals, and I look at all those guys in the top ten in scoring. Savard, Messier, Lafleur, Peter Stastny, Dino Ciccarelli, Mike Bossy, and then there’s Dennis Maruk in there too. I’m pretty honored to be in that elite group in that year.”
Scoring, however, was higher across the board back then. While we can be fairly certain that a player of Ovechkin’s caliber would have put up similar, if not superior numbers in the 1980s, let’s not diminish Maruk’s output. He was 4th in NHL scoring that year behind Wayne Gretzky’s 212 points, Mike Bossy’s 147, and Peter Stastny’s 139. He also played on a relatively lousy Capitals team, which only won 26 games.
“But, for 136 points in today’s game – I had 76 assists that year (also a Caps team record) – it’s gonna be tough. The goaltenders are a little different, but records are made to be broken. Maybe in my time, when I’m still living, someone will come by, but it’s gonna be tough. There’s only been eight players to produce more points in a season, of all the NHL. It’s pretty nice to be in that group.”
Ovechkin’s best points output was 112 in 2007-08, which led the league. Ovechkin also surpassed Maruk’s then-team record of 60 goals that year with 65 of his own.
In 343 games in Washington, Maruk scored 182 and added 249 for 431 points before he went to the Minnesota North Stars.