Hockey stars hail record-breaking Ovechkin (VIDEO)
Alexander Ovechkin’s latest achievement hasn’t gone unnoticed by some of the biggest names in the NHL after the Russian star moved into second place in the league’s all-time scorers roll of honor on Friday night.
Ovechkin, 37, scored twice in the Washington Capitals’ 4-1 triumph against the Winnipeg Jets to first tie and then eclipse Canadian great Gordie Howe’s record of 801 NHL goals to land in second place in the all-time list.
NHL icon Wayne Gretzky’s 894 goals – once believed to be an insurmountable challenge for any NHL player to catch – is now firmly in Ovechkin’s crosshairs as he seeks to cement his legacy as one of the sport’s greatest-ever players.
“It is just crazy to see, and it is a huge number, and it is a great accomplishment for his game, for his person and for his family, too,” Washington teammate Dmitry Orlov said of Ovechkin’s latest achievement.
“The way he is going now, for sure it is awesome, and you hope he is going to stay healthy – and another day, another milestone.”
And according to to Capitals coach Peter Laviolette, it is only a matter of time before Ovechkin surpasses the great Gretzky in the all-times scoring stakes.
“When you see what Alex does on a daily basis, I think anything is possible,” Laviolette said. “The way he plays. The way he scores. The way he shoots the puck. His love for the game. His passion and purpose for the game. Anything is possible.
“He’s on pace again for another great year,” Laviolette added.
“He’s in great shape. He’s obviously got tremendous ability and talent when it comes to doing what he does. He loves the game. He’s got a passion and a purpose when he takes [to] the ice. I think all of those things combined and the fact that he’s been able to play in a lot of games, all of that adds up to having the ability to play consistent.”
KNOCK KNOCK Wayne! Here comes OVI!!!!— Ryan Vircik (@RyanVircik) December 24, 2022
I got to watch Gretzky’s entire career and Ovi is the best goal scorer ever. Considering the eras it’s a no brainer and Gretzky is my idol https://t.co/cljK3SfVIc— The Beard (@BeardZeus) December 24, 2022
But, make no mistake, with Gordie Howe now in the rear-view mirror the focus now moves to dethroning ice hockey’s reigning king.
“Everyone is waiting for the Gretzky record, and it is not going to be easy,” Orlov explained. “Everyone knows it, and he does, too. It’s a lot of work and sometimes luck, too. There is a long way to go.”
Capitals forward Anthony Mantha agreed.
“I think once he’s going to be number one, he can have a sense of relief,” he said.
“Until then, he’s on the hunt – and that’s what we love about him.”