Ovechkin’s absence didn’t change Gretzky’s chase in the slightest

Alex Ovechkin is still hitting that scoring record, just a little later.

Alex Ovechkin is still hitting that scoring record, just a little later.
Photo: AP

Alex Ovechkin has been through hockey ever since he entered the tournament official in 2005. He had to wait another year because that season was unfortunately canceled after he was enlisted the previous year. He’s also been out for three months due to another lockdown in 2012. Not to mention the coronavirus pandemic that disrupted the 2020 season. Without those three game breaks instead of scoring goals. , there probably won’t be a goal chase at the moment. Wayne Gretzky could be No. 2 on the NHL’s all-time scorers list if Ovechkin has nearly two losing seasons in that trio of sabbaticals.

As word spread of the Washington Capitals captain taking a sabbatical from the team to take care of a family member’s health, his chances of winning the Eastern Conference final playoff spot as the stage dragged on. long of the hockey season begins, the response is quite posh. No one has complained that Ovie has given up on his team or pursued one of the sport’s greatest records. Ovechkin will continue to be 82 goals behind Gretzky for the foreseeable future, as Washington head coach Peter Laviolette said there is no timetable for The Great Eight’s return.

Ovechkin’s preference for family is nothing new. Last year, when Russia’s brutal, needless war against Ukraine broke out, he was tasked with keeping his family safe, while at the same time showing no complete denial of Vladimir Putin and disapproval. get war. That thin line is a designated place to be the highest performing Russian athlete in America, and possibly of any sport. Not yet, he’s still famous although very few outside of Russia supported the invasion. He will be 38 this September and even if there is news that he won’t be a good fit for the Capitals any time soon, there are doubts that he won’t be the game’s greatest goalscorer in the end. play.

‘When’, not ‘if’

The conversation if Gretzky’s record will be broken changed the tune this season to when it will break. Even if Ovechkin scored 30 goals per season for the next three seasons, he still achieved. And that’s a moderate goal total for him, even if he’ll enter his fifth decade on Earth in the chase. In the 54 games he has played this season, he has scored 32 goals. Breaking 50 goals is not impossible before this sabbatical. A healthy Ovechkin still has one of the best slaps in the game. How many goalkeepers have tried and failed to stop it? timer once from just above the left facing circle?

Washington’s absence of Ovechkin will destroy the team’s playoff chances, but won’t eliminate them entirely. The Capitals have had multiple indispensable players injured at the same time for most of this season. Nicklas Backstrom and Tom Wilson have been sidelined for most of this season, T.J. Oshie recently returned from injury as a substitute, and John Carlson is sidelined indefinitely after receiving a slap in the face. Ovechkin is by far the biggest loss of the group. His presence alone took up a lot of the opposing team’s game plan. Now, that’s a big worry that the rest of the league doesn’t have.

Wishing Ovechkin well with whatever health situation is serious enough to where he’d leave hockey behind for a while is a given. With how much he’s shown to love the game, and how much Washington’s fans adore him, says all you need to know about the severity of this circumstance. And good on Ovechkin for not relying on others to handle whatever is going on just because he’s this great athlete, extremely important. And whenever he returns, he knows he will be welcomed back to the Capital’s organization just as he left it, as the organization’s GOAT.

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