Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals is a goal scoring machine. Plain and simple. He's done nothing but light the lamp since he joined the NHL in 2005-06. That year he posted 106 points with 52 goals and 54 assists. Ovechkin has scored 50 goals six times in his career. A rare feat, especially in the low scoring NHL of today.
Since Ovechkin has been in the league, no one has scored 50 goals more than twice. That just shows how dominant of a goal scorer he is. Tonight, playing against the Detroit Red Wings, he goes to break the record for most goals scored by a Russian born player. The mark was set by former Red Wing and short time Washington Capital Sergei Fedorov. Fedorov set the mark on an assist from Ovechkin.
When Fedorov was setting the record, goals were a lot more abundant in the 1990's. In 1993-94, Fedorov scored 56 goals but there were nine 50-goal scorers that year in total. Ovechkin is the only player to reach that mark in any of the past three seasons.
That year, 1993-94, the average goals scored were 6.49 per game, last season there was only 5.46 goals per game. Although some may debate whose the better player, it's clear through stats that Ovechkin is a more potent and dominating player on the offensive end than Fedorov was. Times have changed now. The goalies are better and every one is faster. It's that much harder to gain an inch anywhere on the ice.
Mike Bossy, Wayne Gretzky, Marcel Dionne, Guy Lafleur and Mario Lemieux are the only other players to hit 50 goals six times, and they all played in eras with significantly more goal-scoring. At just 30-years-old, "Ovie" looks poised to smash Fedorov's career mark. Sergei had 483 goals by the time he retired at 39. "The Great 8" has 483 goals in just 772 games over 11 seasons. He scored 475 goals before he his 30th birthday surpassing Jari Kurri for third all-time behind only Mike Bossy (554) and The Great One, Wayne Gretzky (706).
While Fedorov was more of a complete hockey player, his assist totals far surpassed Ovechkin. He drove possession and won the Selke Trophy twice in his career for his defensive play. Above that, he won the Stanley Cup three times in his career. Ovechkin has won the Maurice Rocket Richard Trophy five times in his career, and has reached every goal scoring milestone faster than his fellow Russian. All while playing for a much less dominant team and in a low scoring era.
With a natural regression in point totals coming in your mid 30's, Ovechkin still has a number of solid seasons left in the tank. It's exciting to think of how many goals he will score in his career all while being one of the most electric and exciting scorers the NHL has had in years. Still looking for his first Stanley Cup, Washington's management has promised they will do what they can to have his name forever engraved on hockey's holy grail.