Ovechkin Adds Another 50

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Posted April 1, 2015

Evgeny Kuznetsov tossed a quick backhand over to the streaking Alexander Ovechkin. Ovechkin collected the puck, and with the flick of the wrist, he made the Verizon Center, and all Caps fans, go ballistic for the 50th time this season.

Yes, Ovechkin reached the 50 goal milestone for the sixth time in his career. He is one of just six players ever to record six 50-goal seasons (Wayne Gretzky, Mike Bossy, Marcel Dionne, Guy Lafleur and Mario Lemieux have all done it).

Even more impressive, unless Steven Stamkos manages to get ten goals in four games, Rick Nash gets 10 in his next six games, or Vincent Lecavalier manages to score 43 goals in the next six game, Ovechkin will be the only 50 goal scorer this season. It’s getting more and more difficult, yet Ovechkin keeps doing it.

“Every year, it’s harder and harde,” Ovechkin said. “But it’s a huge accomplishment with those names up there. It’s always nice. But every year, you don’t know what to expect from yourself, how you are going to play.”

He’s done it with such consistency as well. Here is how long it has taken Ovechkin to reach the 50 goal mark each year he’s accomplished the feat.

2005-06: 78 games

2007-08: 67 games

2008-09: 70 games

2009-10: 71 games

2013-14: 75 games

2014-15: 76 games

With the more defensive-minded coach in Barry Trotz, it took Ovechkin just one more game to reach 50 than it did last season with the much more offensively loose Adam Oates. Trotz loves the fact that he has a goal scorer like Ovechkin, considering his top goal scorer in Nashville was Jason Arnott, who holds the current record of most goals in a season for the Predators at just 33 (Ovechkin accomplished that in 54 games).

“I mean I hadn’t been around anybody who’s ever scored 50 goals in this league, especially the way it’s so hard to score goals in this league,” Trotz said. “You know it’s a part of history, a guy who scores 50 in this league right now the way the goal scoring is. Teams check. The goaltenders are so good in the National Hockey League. To get 50, I mean I think I said yesterday, I think he’s like 20 percent than the people next to him.”

He’s scoring at such a silly pace. Since he came into the league, Ovechkin has scored 472 goals (and is now tied for the franchise lead in goals with Peter Bondra). Who’s in second in that time frame? Jarome Iginla, and Iginla has just 336 goals. In fact, the only people that have over 300 goals in that same time frame are Iginla, Rick Nash (318), Ilya Kovalchuk (309) and Patrick Marleau (301). How crazy is that?

He’s just a generational talent, and we are fortunate enough to get to watch him day in and day out.

“I was thinking about it today,” Brooks Laich said. “He’s gonna end up with 52, 53, maybe somewhere in there. And I think about how many goals he’s scored and the runs that he’s went on scoring goals this year. And then I think about 10 years ago, he did the same thing as a rookie. He scored 56 his first year as a rookie, I think. Or 54 (editors note: it was 52, still super impressive and at least Laich was close). It’s an incredible feat. And I was looking at him, and he could potentially be the top guy, he might hit 10 50-goal seasons, and he might set the record. A couple guys have nine, and he’s only 29 years old, or whatever he is. There’s potential there to put up staggering numbers. All time numbers. He’s incredible.”