On Tuesday, March 15th, 2022 Alex Ovechkin scored the 767th goal of his illustrious NHL career in order to pass Jaromir Jagr and move into 3rd for the list of most NHL goals. He was immediately swarmed by his Washington Capitals teammates as the fans at the game cheered proudly for Ovechkin.
Chants of “Ovi! Ovi!” rang out through the arena that has been his home stadium for close to 2 – decades, and they also erupted following the Washington Capitals 4 to 3 win vs. the New York Islanders in a breath – taking 8 – round intense shoot – out.
“I think everybody wants me to score that goal,” Ovechkin expressed. “Everybody involved with this milestone. I would say I’m very happy and thankful to be on this team for such a long time, especially with those guys.”
Ovechkin’s most recent goal on Tuesday night puts him in back of only the ultimate hockey legends in Wayne Gretzkyas well as Gordie Howie. Alex’s wife and children were unfortunately stuck back home in Russia, and it is a shame that his immediate family did not get to witness the biggest individual accomplishment of his career.
“It’s been tough, but we’re athletes and we just have to do our job and focus in on the thing what we’re doing best,” says Ovechkin. “We just play hockey and enjoy our moment.”
Ovechkin’s huge and memorable moment came with just 4 – minutes and 58 – seconds remaining in the 3rd – period of the contest when Alex’s fellow countryman, Evgeny Kuznetsov, won a faceoff in order to put the puck on the tape of his good friend’s stick. Ovechkin beat another one of his good friends in Islanders goaltender, Semyon Varlamov, to finally break the recent tie with Jaromir Jagr.
The 36 – year – old left winger originally from Moscow, Russia has not had to deal with any backlash from fans on his home ice, even since Vladimir Putin and Russia invaded Ukraine a few weeks ago. Ovechkin has been booed at times during a trip across western Canada. Alex received a standing ovation from the Washington Capitals’ fans who have cheered for him, and chanted his name all throughout his long and amazing 17 – year career playing ice hockey in North America.
“Obviously, it sucks when my kids didn’t see it, my wife didn’t see it, my parents, but they’re watching at home,” Ovechkin stated. “They’re happy, and that’s the most important thing.”
The next potential important and big milestone for Ovechkin is scoring goal number 800 a milestone that only Gretzky and Howe have reached in the long – standing history of the National Hockey League. Ovechkin needs 35 more goal scores to pass Howe, and Alex would need 128 more goals to break Gretzky’s record of 894 NHL career goals that many people thought to be an unbreakable ice hockey record.
“You never know what’s going to happen in the future,” Ovechkin goes on to say. “You never know what’s going to happen tomorrow. I’m happy I did it and we did it as a team. Now it’s just a period of time, and if I can do it, I will.”
Ovechkin scored this big – time important goal in the shadow of the Washington Capitals’ 2018 Stanley Cup championship banner as Barry Trotz stood on the visiting bench. Trotz was the head coach of the Washington Capitals when they won their first Stanley Cup title in franchise history, and Ovechkin was named the playoff MVP when it was all said and done.
“The one thing that I’ve learned about Ovi over my time is that when you doubt Ovi or you say he can’t do it, he digs in,” Trotz explained. “He just digs in and is determined on that. And I think over time he’s learned to train probably a little different. It’s pretty amazing.”
Ovechkin is only 3 – goals away from reaching 40 for this current NHL season for the 12th – time in his illustrious NHL career. That would tie “The Great One” (Wayne Gretzky) for the most 40 – goal seasons in the history of the National Hockey League.
“For now, he just friend, teammate,” says Kuznetsov. “He’s so close to us, and we never even talk about (how he has) accomplished all those milestones. I’m pretty sure one day when I’m going to retire, I hope he’s going to be still friends with me, we’re going to sit somewhere and think about and remember some of those milestones.”
In a pre – recorded congratulatory video message, Jaromir Jagr jokingly let Ovechkin know that he better keep scoring goals because he hasn’t yet hung up his skates, and may come back to the NHL to chase Ovechkin’s mark.
“Keep scoring, because, as you know, I didn’t retire from hockey yet and there’s a chance I might come back to the NHL and start chasing you,” Jaromir Jagr, who’s still playing at age 50 for the team he owns in the Czech Republic, mentioned.
Ovechkin realized that Jagr would have been further up the list if not for a 3 – year run in the Russia – based KHL. Although Ovechkin has also had to miss ice time in the NHL due to 2 – lockouts as well as the COVID – 19 pandemic which emphasizes Alex’s goal – scoring accomplishment even more impressive and respected.
Ovechkin is presently under contract until age of 40 – years – old, and at his current pace this season he would need to average just 29 – goals over the course of the upcoming 4 – years in order to pass Gretzky prior to Alex’s current contract expires, and who knows he may decide to play further than that on a new contract as he chases one of the most elusive NHL records of all time.
List for the Most Career NHL Goals
Rank Player Years G
- Wayne Gretzky*1979-99 894
- Gordie Howe* 1946-80 801
- Alex Ovechkin 2005-22 767
- Jaromír Jágr 1990-18 766
- Brett Hull* 1986-06 741
- Marcel Dionne*1971-89 731
- Phil Esposito* 1963-81 717
- Mike Gartner* 1979-98 708
- Mark Messier*1979-04 694
- Steve Yzerman*1983-06 692
- Mario Lemieux*1984-06 690
- Teemu Selänne*1992-14 684
- Luc Robitaille*1986-06 668
- Brendan Shanahan*1987-09 656
- Dave Andreychuk*1982-06 640
- Jarome Iginla* 1996-17 625
Joe Sakic* 1988-09 625
- Bobby Hull* 1957-80 610
- Dino Ciccarelli*1980-99 608
- Jari Kurri* 1980-98 601
- Mark Recchi* 1988-11 577
- Mike Bossy* 1977-87 573
- Patrick Marleau1997-21 566
- Joe Nieuwendyk*1986-07 564
Mats Sundin* 1990-09 564
- Mike Modano*1989-11 561
- Guy Lafleur* 1971-91 560
- John Bucyk* 1955-78 556
- Ron Francis* 1981-04 549
- Michel Goulet*1979-94 548
- Maurice Richard*1942-60 544
- Stan Mikita* 1958-80 541
- Keith Tkachuk 1991-10 538
- Frank Mahovlich*1956-74 533
- Marián Hossa*1997-17 525
- Bryan Trottier*1975-94 524
- Pat Verbeek 1982-02 522
- Dale Hawerchuk*1981-97 518
- Pierre Turgeon1987-07 515
- Jeremy Roenick1988-09 513
- Asterisk (*) marks members of the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Alex Ovechkin’s Hockey Career Achievements, Honors, & Awards
- Calder Memorial Trophy (2006)
- NHL All – Rookie Team (2006)
- NHL First All – Star Team (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2015, 2019)
- EA Sports NHL Cover Athlete (2007, 2021)
- NHL All – Star Game (2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2022)
- NHL All – Star Game Super Skills Competition Breakaway Challenge Winner (2008, 2009, 2011)
- Art Ross Trophy (2008)
- Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy (2008, 2009, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019, 2020)
- Hart Memorial Trophy (2008, 2009, 2013)
- Lester B. Pearson Award / Ted Lindsay Award (2008, 2009, 2010)
- NHL 2K Cover Athlete (2010)
- NHL Second All – Star Team (2011, 2013, 2014, 2016)
- NHL All – Star Game Super Skills Competition Hardest Shot Winner (2018)
- Stanley Cup Champion (2018)
- Conn Smythe Trophy (2018)
- Russian Super League Champion (2005)
- Gagarin Cup Champion (2013)
- World Junior Championships Gold Medal (2003)
- World Junior Championships All – Star Team (2005)
- Winter Olympics All – Star Team (2006)
- World Championships All – Star Team (2006, 2008)
- Kharlamov Trophy (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2014, 2015, 2018)
- World Championships Gold Medal (2008, 2012, 2014)
- Wayne Gretzky International Award (2019)
Whyno, Stephen. “Ovechkin now 3rd on NHL goals list, Caps beat Isles in SO”. The Associated Press. March 16, 2022.
Hockey Reference News Services. “NHL & WHA Career Leaders and Records for Goals”. Hockey Reference. March 16, 2022.
Hockey Reference News Services. “Alex Ovechkin”. Hockey Reference. March 16, 2022.