Washington Capitals’ failure to reach the NHL play-offs this season for the first time since 2013/14 was undoubtedly a massive disappointment for the club.
However, while the team failed to make it to the post-season, star forward Alex Ovechkin could not be accused of failing to pull his weight.
He became the third player in NHL history to score 800 goals with a hat-trick in the Capitals’ 7-3 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks in mid-December.
Ovechkin ended the season with 42 goals – passing the legendary Wayne Gretzky for the most 40-goal seasons in NHL history with 13.
The Russian star remains on track to beat Gretzky’s tally of 894 career goals – a record many sports fans thought would never be beaten.
Former NHL star Brett Hull is not among that group, having tipped Ovechkin to become the NHL’s all-time top scorer in a recent interview with Betway.
“You look at other sports and usually consistency is a guy getting 20 or 25 goals for six or seven seasons.” Hull said. “Well, this guy’s been getting 50 goals for 18 years.
“It’s incredible. He’s a marvel to watch. He’s never changed the way he’s played. He’s a beast out there. No one can shoot harder.
“But you still can’t stop him after all these years. He is a freak of nature and I have really enjoyed watching him.”
While Ovechkin has undoubtedly been a phenomenal goalscorer in the NHL, there are several other records held by Gretzky which he unlikely to pass.
For instance, he has never come close to threatening Gretzky’s record for most goals in a season, with ‘The Great One’ netting 92 in the 1981/82 campaign.
It is a similar story for assists, with the Canadian superstar racking up a mind-boggling 163 during the 1985/86 season.
Another ridiculous Gretzky statistic is his career tally of 1,963 assists, which would still make him the all-time leading points scorer even if you took all his goals away.
Gretzky also amassed more than 200 points in four seasons with the Edmonton Oilers – 1981/82, 1983/84, 1984/85 and 1985/86.
When you consider that the Art Ross Trophy winners from the past five years averaged 110 points per year, Gretzky’s achievements are off the scale.
Hull insists that Ovechkin has done well to threaten Gretzky’s goal tally, but is adamant his other records will never be beaten.
“It’s incredible because I got 741 goals myself and I don’t think I could have scored another goal,” Hull added.
“I thought that was about as close as anyone could get to Gordie Howe with 801 and Wayne way up with 894.
“In all seriousness, 80 goals for him is two seasons, and he’s got plenty of life left in him.
“So, unless something happens, he looks unstoppable to catch Wayne’s goal record, although that’ll be the only record of Wayne’s which will ever be broken because all the other ones are crazy.”
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