Head Copy Editor
With 558 career goals, three Hart Memorial Trophies, six Maurice Richard Trophies (four of them in a row from 2012-2016), and eight All-Star Game selections, Alex Ovechkin is one of the best hockey players of his time. The Washington Capitals captain is the fifth-fastest player in the National Hockey League to reach 500 goals scored, behind the likes of Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky. With these accomplishments, Ovechkin was named one of the 100 greatest NHL players.
But without a Stanley Cup win, Ovi and the Caps are overshadowed by Pittsburgh.
The end of the 2017 season was just part of a recurring nightmare for the Caps. That team, with the power players on the roster, had the best chance of securing a championship in the Ovechkin era; the team finished the regular season as the best in the NHL. Losing to the Penguins AGAIN in the second round was a tough pill to swallow, especially for Ovechkin.
Despite being tied for the Caps’ top goal-scorer and finishing his 12th straight season with 30+ goals, he was once again unsatisfied with the outcome as well as his own performance.
Fans and analysts say he can’t get the job done, his well is dry, and he should have been traded in the off-season. I think he’ll come back with a vengeance.
In an interview with the Sports Junkies, Ovechkin said he is ready to try new things and make changes to his personal game. When he arrived at training camp this year, he appeared slimmer. At 32, Ovechkin seems more dedicated to preparing for the new season, working harder to be in the best possible shape.
Should he reach the 600-goal mark this season, which he is on track to do, he will be in the top 20 goal-scorers in NHL history. With three years left on his contract, Ovi is far from over. It may take some line juggling and a new approach to his game play, but he is a competitor.
As a Caps fan, I’m used to saying “it’s our year.” This year, I feel like I’ll be defending Ovechkin like a broken record. I’ll keep doing it because he is not finished, and won’t be until he’s raised the Stanley Cup.