Welcome to the 800 Club Alex! Ovechkin reached his latest milestone in his usual fashion, scoring his 800th goal with a hat trick against the Blackhawks. Ovechkin joins great company, as he is now the third player in NHL history to reach that mark. He trails Gordie Howe by just one goal but has a long way to go before he catches Wayne Gretzky’s 894 career goals.

Ovechkin scored his first goal just 24 seconds into the game, beating Blackhawk’s goaltender Petr Mrazek on a turnaround shot that bounced off the defender. He continued his hot start as his second goal came on a power play with 11:46 left in the first period. The 37-year-old winger had flashbacks of his youth as he completed his 29th career hat trick on a rebound in the third with 6:34 to go. Ovechkin led the Capitals to their victory over the Blackhawks with a final score of 7-3.

The United Center erupted in support of Ovechkin 800th, as you can hear the roar of the crowd almost as much as the commentators on the broadcast in the first clip. Fans who couldn’t attend the game, went to social media platforms to show their excitement for the future Hall of Famer. Some twitter handles took the opportunity to engage with the audience, posting polls and trivia questions about Ovechkin to their page. The one that stuck out the most to me was @AzorcanGlobal posted a poll of “how many goals will Ovechkin score before he retires.” With close to a thousand votes, many fans believe he will break the record, with 56.5% of voters choosing 894-925 goals.

Ovechkin reflected on becoming the 3rd NHL player in history to score 800 career goals following the game. “It’s a huge number,” Ovechkin said. “It’s the best company you ever can imagine since you start playing hockey to be connected to Gordie. Eight hundred, I’m the third person who ever scored that many goals. So without my teammates, without the organization, the fans, my family, I would never get that number and I would never talk to you right now about those numbers.”

The Capitals superstar adds to his impressive resume of 3-time MVP, 12-time All Star, 1x playoff MVP and Stanley Cup winner in 2018. Additionally, he has nine seasons with at least 50 goals, including a career-high 65 goals during the 2007-08 season. Ovechkin currently has 20 goals this season, leading the Capitals, but is coming off a 50 goal and 40 assist year from the previous season. He has been one of NHL’s most dangerous offensive weapons since he scored two goals in his debut back in 2005.

Although Ovechkin is in his 18th NHL season, he has shown no sign of regression, as he is on pace to score 53 goals this season (if he were to play every game). This would give him his second consecutive 50-goal season and the 10th season he reached this achievement. He is also in the mix to lead the league in goals this season, sitting at 8th place, so don’t rule him out yet.

When I was first introduced to hockey, the one thing I was taught was Wayne Gretzky is the greatest of all time and no one would come close to his ‘unbreakable’ goal record. Watching the games, I feel that it is almost inevitable that he will be the one to dethrone Gretzky and cement himself as the greatest goal scorer of all time. Although I am a New York Ranger fan, I hope he can break the record. Ovechkin is collectively one of the most loved players in the league, and to witness him chase a record no one has come close to; how can you not root for him?




Link for the featured image – https://www.sltrib.com/sports/2017/10/08/alex-ovechkin-gets-historic-hat-trick-caps-beat-canadiens/