Ovechkin's Got a Shot to Out-Goal Gretzky
Baseball's ultimate hitter's stat has been updated twice, and not without controversy.
There will be no arguments, though, if Wayne Gretzky sees his record for career goals fall, unless die-hard Canadians don't want to see a Russian overtake him.
However, they may have no choice but to accept reality, because it's rushin' down the path to inevitability.
As projections stand, it's been clear for a while that only injuries or unforeseen circumstances can stop Alex Ovechkin from being hockey's all-time goal scorer.
- Assuming he finishes with 56 goals this year -- and that's his current pace -- Ovechkin would start next season needing 180 goals to match the Great One, which is how the 36.2-goal average is figured; that's also the same number of seasons Gretzky played.
- Dude will turn 38 four seasons from now (2023-24). Compare that to Gretzky, who retired after his age-38 campaign (1998-99) and didn't score more than 25 goals in any of his final five seasons.
Ovie, of course, continues to compile an incredibly highlight stash of his own.
Gretzky was a sniper who possessed one of the most accurate slap shots the world has ever seen, while Ovechkin is a volume shooter and the best power-play goal scorer of all time.
- Gretzky: 894 goals on 5,088 shots (17.6%); 204 power play goals.
- Ovechkin: 692 goals on 5,458 shots (12.7%); 258 power play goals.
Gretzky shared a notable observation in a 2019 interview that it's harder to score in the NHL now that it was in his era.
That seems like a humble nod to Ovechkin's accomplishments -- and he's all for Ovie breaking his all-time record -- but he's not gonna find many who agree with him.
That Old School straight-blade stick will work for him in any era. It just needs to be in the right hands, and dude's got 'em. Just like Ovie does.