The Washington Capitals struck gold when they drafted Alex Ovechkin in 2004. They knew that he would be something, but what he has accomplished goes far beyond the would’ve been. He’s gone from a kid who was put on a pedestal against Sidney Crosby, to one of the greatest players of all-time.
We all know his name and his number. He goes by the nickname “The Great Eight,” which we call the crazy, rebellious left winger with messy hair, a big beard, missing teeth and yellow skate laces.
I grew up watching Ovechkin. Idolizing him, wearing his jersey, running around… even demanding an eight-foot Ovechkin Fathead for my birthday (which my mom bought for me). And watching him score that goal brought tears to my eyes. Just like his parents, just like the ownership staff, I was beyond proud.
Let me tell you this right here right now. Alexander Ovechkin is the greatest player in our generation. Hands down.
Last night, in a 7-1 win over the Ottawa Senators, Ovechkin scored-ownership and parents watching-his 500th NHL goal. He received an immediate standing ovation, and the entire team came off of the bench and celebrated with him once it happened. GM Brian MacLellan sent a special request to the NHL to allow the bench to storm the ice when he scored, and they granted it immediately.
Here is the 500th goal.
Ovechkin becomes the fifth fastest NHL player to reach 500 NHL goals, and he is only 30 years old and still has many years to come.
“It’s a great feeling,” Ovechkin said, smiling. “To do it in front of our fans, my family, my mom and dad is here. Like celebration, everyone jump on the ice… Yeah dad!”
Ovechkin was interrupted in the middle of the interview by the outstanding, roaring applause, as well as his dad fist-pumping and cheering him on post-game.
He is not only one of the best in the modern day, but in history. Back when Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux were scoring goals, goalies didn’t have the thick pads, giant blockers and gloves and helmets they have today. It is much harder to score goals in this new era, where pads are getting bigger, goaltenders are learning techniques and defense is getting tighter. With all that factored in, Ovechkin is now joining the likes of Gretzky.
“It’s history, and I’m glad to be in and I’m glad to be in great company,” Ovechkin told the media. “Alex Ovechkin is up there now.”
And he is. One of the greatest modern-day goalscorer, Ovechkin is not only the best of this generation but one of the best players in NHL history. As he continues on, he will only continue to improve and now has his sights on leading the Capitals to their first Stanley Cup.
The Russian is dynamic and has over 4000 shots in his career. The way he can move down the ice and stickhandle is superhuman. It makes me wonder if anyone can stop him; just look at “The Goal” he scored against Gretzky’s Arizona Coyotes. Or how about the insane off-the-bench chip-and-chase to himself goal he scored against Montreal? The way he works is incredible, and Ovechkin, hats off to you. You are one of the greatest of all time.