The main Russian hockey star Alexander Ovechkin, despite his recent injury, opened the next NHL season with a gorgeous match. In a meeting in which the Washington Capitals beat him 5-1 against the New York Rangers, Ovechkin scored four points and, thanks to two goals, made it to the clear fifth spot on the list of the best snipers in the history of the league.
Circumstances add value to what 36-year-old Alexander Ovechkin did in his home match against the New York Rangers, to which the Washingtonians opened the regular season. He was injured late last week in a preseason game with the Philadelphia Flyers. Her character in the tradition of the NHL was not disclosed, but judging by the difficulty with which the forward left the ice, the damage to the “lower body” was serious. And after the game with the Rangers was over, Peter Laviolette, Washington’s mentor, said that the questions about the club’s captain’s performance in it were in the morning, that is, a few hours before going on the ice. But Ovechkin was eager to fight – and appeared on the site.
In fact, by the final period, he proved that he was not overcoming pain in vain. Washington were leading with a score of 3: 0, and Alexander Ovechkin recorded two assists. First, his cross through the goalkeeper helped Tijay Oshi to distinguish himself, and then Ovechkin took part in a combination, the point at which was put by Justin Schultz with a biting throw.
But it was during the last period that the main feats of the Russian striker fell. Alexander Ovechkin scored twice in this twenty minutes. The episodes were somewhat similar to each other. Both times, Ovechkin was helped to achieve the desired flair and a surprisingly sharp leap. In the first case, he rushed in the majority on the puck, which flew off the chest of Anthony Manta. She jumped on the ice, but this did not prevent Ovechkin from inflicting a lethal shot, which the Russian Rangers goalkeeper Alexander Georgiev could never cope with. In the second case, Ovechkin’s compatriot Evgeny Kuznetsov threw the puck into the far side, and defender Kay-Andre Miller went to hunt for a rebound along with the leader of Washington. Miller is generally known for skating very well, but he could not oppose Ovechkin’s speed with anything. Like Georgiev – a trick with which the forward fooled him, finding himself in front of the goalkeeper.
It seems that Alexander Ovechkin’s tone surprised even his partners. One of them – Hendrix Lapierre – then, without hiding his emotions, said that he was shocked by the “fire” in the eyes of his captain: “He is a key factor for us.”
And shortly after Alexander Ovechkin finished off Georgiev with that trick, during a game pause, the face of league legend Marcel Dionne, a phenomenal striker from the 1970s and 1980s, which was familiar to NHL fans, suddenly appeared on the scoreboard of the Washington arena. It was a video congratulating Ovechkin with an “incredible achievement” from Dionne: “I knew that you would bypass me.” And none of the spectators, of course, needed to explain what was at stake.
Keeping track of the best NHL sniper of all time of this century has been a popular attraction among hockey fans in North America for quite some time. Most of them knew that Alexander Ovechkin, sixth in this classification, had 730 goals scored in the regular season before the start of the season, that he was close to Dionne with 731 goals. And now Ovechkin, thanks to the “explosion” in the third period, not only caught up with him, but bypassed him, entering the top five.
Soon, however, since he is in this form, the Russian will, of course, be even higher. His next “victim” is Brett Hull, who has nine goals left. But in the current championship, Ovechkin, if he dispenses with new injuries, may well get to the top three. From the closest Jaromir Jagr, ahead of whom there are only two of the greatest Canadian hockey players in history – Gordy Howe (801 goals) and Wayne Gretzky (894), 34 goals separate him – this is not a grandiose distance by the standards of a Russian striker, but rather a “working” …
But Alexander Ovechkin himself, when after the match with the Rangers he was asked about the sniper race, about the breakthrough into the top five, about the prospects, he did everything to make it clear that statistics are not so important for him: “I just enjoy my time. It’s a great privilege for me to be on this list, but I keep telling myself: you have to live from game to game. “
The best snipers in NHL history
G I G / I
1. Wayne Gretzky (Canada) 894 1487 0.601
2. Gordy Howe (Canada) 801 1767 0.453
3. Jaromir Jagr (Czech Republic) 766 1733 0.442
4. Brett Hall (USA) 741 1269 0.584
5. Alexander Ovechkin (Russia) 732 1198 0.611
6.Marcel Dionne (Canada) 731 1348 0.542
7. Phil Esposito (Canada) 717 1282 0.559
8. Mike Gartner (Canada) 708 1432 0.494
9.Mark Messier (Canada) 694 1756 0.395
10. Steve Eiserman (Canada) 692 1514 0.457