Wayne Gretzky’s career goal of 894 has long been one of the sacred numbers in hockey and is now a record that can never be broken by a goal in the NHL.
But great players will continue to come after the “greats”. Alex Ovechkin is ready to take his shot.
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Ovechkin signs a new five-year deal with Washington Capitals for 730 goals, 165 from passing Gretzky. The Russian superstar is 36 years old and has to score from older players at an unprecedented pace to get closer to the brand by the time the contract is signed.
“You never know,” said Ovechkin after signing a $ 47.5 million deal. “I’m going to do my best (myself) so I want to play another five years. Why do you have the chance to catch ‘Great One’? “
Age and health are its greatest obstacles. Ovechkin has been ridiculously durable throughout his career, especially for the 6-foot-3 power forward who wasn’t afraid to swing around, but the seven injured games late last season surpassed the decade total. I am.
Coach Peter Laviolette wants the captain to play in the opening round and doesn’t expect him to be eliminated for long, but the intense Russian sustained a lower body injury at the show finale in Washington. ..
No matter how long he’s away, Gretzky is like Ovechkin thinks he should avoid it.
“We have to be a bit lucky in the sense that we want to avoid injuries as much as possible,” said Gretzky, who took the front row seat in Obechkin’s car chase as part of the cover for TNT’s new studio team. NHL. “I don’t just miss game injuries. I’m talking about persistent injuries like knee pain, ankle pain, and shoulder pain, and I am overcoming them. If he can stay healthy, this is the game. This is the best for me. “
Ovechkin needs to hit an average of 33 goals per season to reach 895 over the next five seasons, but he’s also trying to keep up with Father Time. Gretzky scored 21 goals at the age of 36, and Ovechkin will likely have 40 to score this season, and perhaps the next legitimate chance.
General Manager Bryan McLellan believes Ovechkin is good, motivated to pursue the record, and in good shape to try it out.
“He has a passion for games and goals that I think will continue for the next five years,” said McClellan.
Nobody doubted it. Ovechkin’s boundless joy after scoring a goal has become one of the most adorable NHLs from the 2004-05 lockout that wiped out the entire season.
Ovechkin doesn’t have the same enthusiasm to keep answering questions about Gretzky’s records and climbing his career list. He is fifth behind Marcel Dionne and this season has realistically overtaken Brett Hull (741) and Jaromír Jáger (766) and placed third behind Gretzky and Gordie Howe.
“Let’s not look too far,” said Ovechkin. “For every game, step by step.”
Ovechkin’s teammates are happy to accompany him on the journey and help him in his search. Winger Tom Wilson speculates that “his linemates will be under pressure to get the puck”. This is no pressure on Niclas Backstrom, a longtime companion who has supported Ovechkin’s 269 goals since joining the league in 2008.
“I think it’s absolutely realistic,” said Ovechkin of Ovechkin’s record hunt. “If anyone can do it, he can. It’s the kind of hunger he’s got and it’s the kind of scorer he’s got. “
Having a good team around him helps. Capital cities are designed to fight for at least a few more seasons. And there is no shortage of experienced and aggressive players ready to grab Ovechkin.
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Ovechkin took his shot but admitted, “If I finish second, that’s a pretty good number too.” It takes 72 goals to monopolize the second, but Gretzky believes he will be at the top of the list until Ovechkin resigns.
“He definitely has a legitimate shot,” said Gretzky. “I’m one of his biggest fans. If he can break the record then he is only suitable for games. He needs to relax and it will take him a couple of years, but in the end he will likely pick up. “
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