Alex Ovechkin He is one of the greatest players in the history of the National Hockey League and holds many records. But there’s one thing the bold and confident scorer thinks he absolutely can’t do.
On Thursday, during the first day of training camp in the capitals, Ovechkin was asked what it would be like when he passed second-placed Jordi Howe on the NHL’s all-time target list. Seemingly filled with dread that he would be asked this question a thousand times over the next few months, Captain Capitals indicated that his overtaking Gordie wouldn’t happen anytime soon in his own Ovi way.
“Let’s wait,” said Ovechkin. “I can’t score 21 goals in one game. I can’t.”
Personally, I’m suspicious, but Ovi probably has a point.
While Ovechkin tied for sixth place For the greatest number of tricks ever (28), he doesn’t even have the Capitals franchise record for the most goals in a single game. Peter Bondra and Bent-Ake Gustafsson are the only two Capitals players to have scored five goals in one game. Despite this, Ovechkin scored four different matches with four goals.
record holder for Most goals in one match It’s Jo Malone who scored seven times in 1920. Plus Most goals scored by one team in a match She’s 16, which the Montreal Canadiens did – also in 1920. What a wild year it must have been.
So perhaps Ovechtrick is more realistic.
As for his philosophy toward the goal scorer, the 37-year-old Ovechkin emphasized that while he knows it, he doesn’t focus on it much.
It’s always day in and day out,” Ovechkin said. “You can’t look forward too much. Today we completed our ski test. Tomorrow it will be tough practice. We start from there.”
As the season approaches, Ovechkin has scored 780 goals and trails Wayne Gretzky by 114. If Ovechkin can score 38 goals each season, he will capture The Great One by the end of the 2024-25 season with one year left on his contract.
Questions have been edited for brevity and understanding.
There have been some substantial changes in the menu, namely in the objective. What do you think of this team’s chances this year?
Alex Ovechkin: Well, obviously, every year some new guys come along and change everything that happens. This is hockey business. You make a friendship and it’s hard to see your friends and good players go, but we the players, it’s not up to us. We wish everyone the best and I am looking forward to this year.
How are you going to deal with the long-term absence of Niklas Backstrom and Tom Wilson?
Alex Ovechkin: They are key players for us, but the pieces that we have, have the experience and the skill. We will work hard to welcome them and we will play well.
How does having Darcy Quimper change things for the team and what do you think of his game?
Alex Ovechkin: We didn’t play much against him, but he’s the Stanley Cup champion last year. When you have a strong goalkeeper, it gives you more chances to win.
How important was winning the championship from last year?
Alex Ovechkin: It is always good to have experienced guys on your team. They share their moments because so many men have been there. It’s great to have that kind of person and that kind of player on our team.
How was your off season?
Alex Ovechkin: Offseason was good. I spent time with my family, playing soccer, scoring a goal, killing a man! It was fun. It was a fun time. It’s obviously fast time, but you can’t do anything. Happy to be back. I can’t wait to go.
How was it to get back with your kids?
Alex Ovechkin: It was a great time seeing my parents and friends. I went on vacation. We are having a great time.
Did you do something different with your coach Pavel during the holiday season?
Alex Ovechkin: Not right. Every year we try to do something different, something else. I’m happy now with [how] in shape [I am]. You must be 100% in the bootcamp.
You had a very good year last year. Will you try to match or surpass what you did?
Alex Ovechkin: I’m at an age where personal goals are great, but I understand that every year I’m starting to finish my career. I want to win and be in the playoffs and fight for the cup.
What are your thoughts about the political situation in Russia – there have been protests – and does it affect you at all?
Alex Ovechkin: To be honest with you, like I heard about it. I will get more information later due to the time difference. We’ll see what happens.
Is the goal scorer you have in mind coming into season?
Alex Ovechkin: No, it always happens day in and day out. You can’t look forward too much. Today we completed our ski test. Tomorrow will be a difficult exercise. We start from there.
Having played with Tom Wilson a lot on your opposite wing, how does his long-term injury affect you and who might replace him?
Alex Ovechkin: I think that’s a question you should ask Lavi, who is going to be our ward. We are bringing in new players who have experience playing right wing/midfield. It’s a great opportunity for many players to step up, take a place and show that they can play in the NHL.
“Bring me the disc” is what she should have said.
Alex Ovechkin: If you are open, yes. [laughs]
Have you played a mentor role with some of the younger players?
Alex Ovechkin: not yet. I still have a few years on my contract. I want to finish my career well. Still four years right? It’s a long time. You never know what will happen.
Is there an urgent need for the success of the playoff?
Alex Ovechkin: The most important thing is that everyone has to be healthy and we have to do the play-offs. The first 20 matches are very important. you have [to have a good amount of] of points, so if you have ups and downs during the season, you still have those points that you get. You can see last year, the teams were missing one point, two points. You don’t want to play six months, you want to play eight months and fight for the cup.
What do you think of Ivan Miroshnichenko, the first-round pick for capitals in the 2022 NHL Draft?
Alex Ovechkin: excellent choice. He is a young player who can be a star and a good thing. I haven’t spoken to him yet but I can talk to him anytime. I wish him well and hope to be here next year.
You’re 21 goals from Jordi Howe – the idea of being second in league history sometime this year…
Alex Ovechkin: Let’s wait. I can’t score 21 goals in one game. I do not print.
Screenshot courtesy of Capitals