Washington Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin roughly commented 12 months ago that he’s trying to “don’t think about” possibly matching all-time NHL goals record of 894 held by living legend Wayne Gretzky. Since that time, Ovechkin has racked up 780 career goals to make it third on the list, behind only Gordie Howe at 801 and “The Great One.”
Ovechkin may be closer to touching history than he was this time last fall, but his focus remains the same ahead of the upcoming season.
“I’m at an age where personal goals are nice, but we understand every year [you get closer] until the end of your career,” the 37-year-old said in comments shared Thursday by Tom Gulitti of the NHL website. “So I just want to win. I want to be in the knockout stages and fight for the Cup.”
Ovechkin has spent his entire NHL career with the Capitals since making his league debut in 2005 and has only won the Stanley Cup once in 2018. Coincidentally, that is last time Washington won a series of games after the season.
“The first 20 games are very important so you have to [earn] points, so if you’re going to have some ups and downs during the season, you still have those points,” Ovechkin said of the game’s opening that will get underway for the Capitals on October 12.” You don’t want to just play for six months. You want to play eight months and play for the Cup. “
Ovechkin knew well how many targets he needed to catch Howe but also realized the process was a marathon, not a sprint.
“I can’t score 21 goals in a game. I can’t, so let’s wait,” he said of his career goal of 801.