Will it or will it not? That’s all everyone wants to know.
Trying to assess whether or not Alex Ovechkin will pass Wayne Gretzky for the NHL’s all-time goal record involves pinning down a series of moving targets and providing answers to mostly unanswerable questions. And while the easy answer is to simply say “it’s too early to tell,” it’s not fun either.
Ovechkin entered the season 164 goals behind Gretzky and with the legend of the Capitals off to a spectacular start, here’s a closer look at what exactly it would take to threaten Gretzky’s place in history. All stats updated on November 8.
NHL All-Time Goal Leaders
On March 23, 1994, Gretzky topped Gordie Howe for the all-time goal record with No. 802. In the second period, at the Great Western Forum in California, Gretzky put the puck on the Canucks goalkeeper, Kirk McLean, to break Howe’s nearly 14. -record year.Almost 28 years later, Gretzky is still holding his own as no one else has come close to 100 goals from his record. Gretzky scored his last goal on March 29, 1999.GRETZKY: Last NHL goal | Last NHL game
Most goals in NHL history
|Wayne gretzky||EDM, LAK, STL, NYR||894|
|Gordie howe||DET, HFD||801|
|Jaromir Jagr||PIT, WSH, NYR, PHI, DAL, BOS, NJD, FLA, CGY||766|
|Brett hull||CGY, STL, DAL, DET, PHX||741|
Most goals in NHL season
|Wayne gretzky||Edmonton Oilers||1981-1982||92|
|Wayne gretzky||Edmonton Oilers||1983-1984||87|
|Brett hull||St. Louis Blues||1990-91||86|
|Mario lemieux||Pittsburgh Penguins||1988-1989||85|
|Phil Esposito||Boston Bruins||1970-71||76|
|Alexander Mogilny||Buffalo Sabers||1992-93||76|
|Teemu selanne||Winnipeg Jets||1992-93||76|
Will Alex Ovechkin catch up with Wayne Gretzky?
Sporting News is officially going to tell you, in the words of great coach Ted Lasso, “Believe.”Going into this season, Ovechkin was behind Gretzky by 164 goals. While he’s off to a torrid start, he’s unlikely to continue to find the back of the net once per game. A reasonable high end might be 50 goals per season, which he has achieved or eclipsed eight times during his career. It also approached 46 in 2006-07, 49 in 2017-18, and 48 in the COVID-shortened 2019-20 season.50 goals in an 82-game season are recorded at a rate of 0.61 goals per game. If he plays all the games going forward, unlikely to say the least, he would need 269 games (as of Nov 9) to catch Gretzky. That would be sometime during the 2024-25 season.Of course, if you continue to score at a breakneck pace, you could get there sooner. Ovechkin’s personal record for goals per game is 0.79, which he scored in 2008-09. In the last five seasons (2016-17 to 2021) he scored 205 goals in 358 games, good for 0.57 goals per game. It’s not a bad clip even though he’s in the later stages of his career.Even if the Capitals captain scores 50 points per season (including 2021-22), he won’t hit the mark until 2024-25 at the earliest.
How many goals does Alex Ovechkin have?
On November 8, Ovechkin scored number 741 to tie Hall of Famer Brett Hull for fourth place on the all-time goals scored list.
Alex Ovechkin career statistics
Ovechkin’s star power was evident from day one. After winning the Calder Trophy in his rookie year with 106 points (52 goals, 54 assists) in 81 games, he won the Rocket Richard Trophy a total of nine times. The trophy has only existed since the 1998-99 season and is awarded to the NHL’s top scorer.He is the only player who has won it at least three times and therefore obviously holds the record with nine. Oh, and he almost won it in his rookie year before finally losing to the Sharks’ Jonathan Cheechoo by four goals. He also fell short of a goal in 2009-10.And a quick reminder: Ovechkin also had to deal with not only the COVID-shortened 2021 season of 56 games, but also the 48-game blocking shortened season in 2012-13. Imagine where you would be now if those seasons were full 82-game slates.OVECHKIN: The 7 best career goals
|SEASON||GP||GOALS||G / GP||HELP||POINTS|
|2019-20 * ^||68||48||0.71||19||67|
*Seasons Ovechkin won the Rocket Richard Trophy; ^ Co-winner with David Pastrnak