The greatest goal-scorer of a generation just hit another elusive milestone.
Alex Ovechkin recorded career goal No. 600 on Monday, becoming just the 20th player in NHL history to reach the mark and just the fourth to hit the milestone in under 1,000 games, according to Elias. He’s the only current NHLer with 600 tallies on his resume.
The monumental marker came early in the second frame of Washington’s home tilt against the Jets on Monday:
— NBC Sports Capitals (@NBCSCapitals) March 13, 2018
The tally fittingly came against a Winnipeg lineup boasting super sophomore Patrik Laine, who came into the contest tied with Ovechkin for the league lead with 40 goals. No. 8 potted his 41st of the campaign early in the first to pen the scoring and his 42nd the next period to give the Caps a 2-1 lead.
Laine, Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin all have a realistic shot at hitting the 50-goal mark this season and, if he can pull it off, Ovi will be just the third player in NHL history to have eight or more 50-goal campaigns — Wayne Gretzky and Mike Bossy have nine.
Ovi has built his 600-goal resume by scoring at a 0.61 points-per-game clip, the best pace in the NHL and one of the highest rates ever. He’s an 11-time All-Star, six-time Rocket Richard Trophy winner as the NHL’s leading goal-scorer, and a three-time league MVP.
Alex Ovechkin first NHL goal: pic.twitter.com/hCYpfyA9LB
— Goalie Blinnterference (@NHLBlinn) March 13, 2018
Ovechkin is within striking distance of several guys ahead of him on the all-time list, including No. 17 Bobby Hull (610), No. 14 Dave Andreychuk (640), No. 10 Mario Lemieux (690) and No. 8 Mark Messier (694).
At just 32 years old, the Top 5 is within reach for Ovi, too, who sits just 131 goals back of Marcel Dionne for that fifth spot. If Ovi can average 30 goals per season over the next six campaigns, which will take him to 38 years old, he’ll overtake Jaromir Jagr for third spot on the list. Ovechkin has stayed completely healthy — only missing a grand total of 28 games throughout his NHL career — and has never scored less than 32 goals in a season.
Barring a few catastrophic seasons, Ovi looks poised to finish his career as one of the top two or three most productive snipers in the history of the game.
He’s scored at a ferocious 0.61 goals-per-game pace over his NHL career — the fourth quickest scoring rate ever. He sits behind only Pavel Bure (0.62), Mario Lemieux (0.75) and Mike Bossy (0.76) in that department.
With time, health and talent on his side, and considering the low-scoring era he’s playing in compared to that of the greats at the top of the list, Ovi probably will go down as — if he’s isn’t already — the greatest goal scorer ever.