Alexander Ovechkin has a mission. His run for the record continues and here he now stands only second among the leading scorers in National Hockey League history. After a “shortage” of four games, the Russian scored his 801me and 802me goals Friday in the Washington Capitals’ 4-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets.
He thus surpassed Gordie Howe and is only 93 successes away from taking the first place held by Wayne Gretzky since March 1994. “I’m going step by step”, the great striker had also relativized last week.
The Caps captain’s historic goal came with 1:38 remaining in the first half. Ovechkin converted a wrist shot from the right circle after catching a backward pass from Dylan Strome. David Rittich was hit between the pads.
the 802me The goal came with a minute to go, in an empty net, as his teammates gallantly gave him every chance to score. I strove to put it back on [Evgeny] Kuznetsov, but he didn’t want it,” Ovechkin defended. The players rose to their feet in celebration, then a video of Mark Howe, son of Gordie Howe, was presented on the giant screen. “We want to congratulate you on this achievement. Watching you play was a real pleasure. »
In a rather rare moment, the Jets players congratulated him at the end of the game. “It feels good to do it at home in front of family, friends and fans,” Ovechkin told the crowd. Is big. He then thanked his family, even addressing them in Russian.
There were the “Ovie, Ovie” from his teammates, then Ovechkin posed in the locker room with his two sons and the historic records. But how do you plan to celebrate this goal?
“I’m going to a bar. Hot dogs, nachos. Why not?”, he launched, laughing at the journalists, before becoming more serious. “Thank you for the support. It’s the story. Who will be the next to score 800 goals? I hope someone does. I’m lucky to stay healthy to score all these goals. I want to thank my teammates, my coaches for their trust. Without them, I would never have achieved these goals. »
Obviously, this is a defining moment for “Ovie,” who has some admiration for Mr. Hockey, who died in 2016. The two men met at the 2009 All-Star Game in Montreal, and Ovechkin records this encounter in an autographed photo. by Howe. . “It’s definitely my favorite item in my collection,” he said. There’s Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky or Mario Lemieux sticks, but that’s probably what I like the most. »
Ovechkin scored his first NHL goal on October 5, 2005. In fact, the right-hander had scored a double in his major league debut against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Number 8 had turned on the red light with a single shot from the top of the circles. A way of doing things that has become his trademark. A rite. A cannonball, a big smile, knee on the ground, one leg in the air, index finger pointing to the sky, sometimes propelling himself towards the bay window, Ovechkin has become an immortal.
With his yellow laces and tinted visor, he was already promised a bright future when he was taken first in the 2004 amateur draft.
A loyal supporter of the Washington Capitals, the 37-year-old has spent each of his 18 NHL seasons in that team’s uniform. He broke the 50 goal mark nine times and the 60 goal mark once in 2007-08. He was awarded the Maurice-Richard trophy nine times, awarded to the season’s top scorer.
Ovechkin signed a five-year contract extension in July 2021, which would theoretically allow him to surpass Marvel.
His main victims
Ovechkin has made more than 166 goalies look bad since the start of his career. With his lightning strike and exquisite hands, he scored galore, but some goalkeepers savored it more often than others.
It was Marc-André Fleury who was most often defeated by Alex the Great. The Québécois allowed him 25 goals during their clashes.
Fleury is closely followed by Henrik Lundqvist, with 24, then Carey Price and Kari Lehtonen, who each missed the puck 22 times.
Among his most remembered goals will be the moment in which he marked his 50thme net of the season, March 19, 2009, against the Tampa Bay Lightning. After scoring, he put his stick on the ice to pretend his CCM was on fire.
However, his most significant goal will forever be the one on January 16, 2006 against the Phoenix Coyotes. Ovechkin had grabbed the puck right on the center line, and at the height of the circles he had sliced down the middle, passing the puck under Paul Mara’s stick. The Russian had fallen on his back and pushed the puck, which was under him, behind his head, towards the goal, while goalkeeper Brian Boucher had made an exit to try to intercept the prolific goalscorer. This goal is considered by many to be the most spectacular in hockey history.
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