When you think of Alex Ovechkin, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?
You probably said something along the lines of, “the guy’s the best scorer in the NHL”.
As someone who’s known for his elite ability to find the back of the net, he has put 210 shots on goal in 55 games this year and has taken an astounding 4,438 shots on net in his distinguished career to date.
However, on Thursday against the Detroit Red Wings, something shocking happened: Ovechkin didn’t record a single shot on goal.
It was the first time in 315 games (almost four years) that it happened. The last time was on March 12, 2013.
What’s incredibly interesting is that first, the Capitals scored six goals against the Red Wings on 31 shots.
Also, last season, he logged 15 shots in goal against Detroit in a single game.
Therefore, it was incredibly surprising for multiple reasons.
“I think it tells you that we’ve got multiple lines that can hurt you,” Capitals Coach Barry Trotz told Isabelle Khurshudyan of The Washington Post. “That’s pretty rare when you think about how many games he’s played. He’s such a dynamic player. He’s such a force that I don’t think that’s going to happen too often.”
Through 55 games played, Ovechkin has 26 goals and 24 assists for 50 points.
While he’s not on pace to reach his fourth-straight 50-goal season, his coach explained that the Russian star is putting the team over any personal accolades this year.
“He’s going to score more than 30 goals this year, but if he scores 30 goals and we’re able to go real deep in the playoffs or do something special at the next level, the ultimate, I think he would trade that any day,” Trotz said. “I think any player that plays this game would do that.”
The Capitals are currently 38-11-6 and lead the NHL with an impressive 82 points through 55 games.
While Ovechkin's legacy would have been added to with another elite goal-scoring campaign, he and his club have bigger and more important things in mind.