As the Washington Capitals faced the Vancouver Canucks on Super Bowl Sunday, all eyes were on Alex Ovechkin, who entered the game on a four-game goal streak. Ovechkin, 38, has been uncharacteristically cold this season, scoring just 13 goals in 48 games, whereas last season, the winger tallied 42 in 73 games. An early-season scoring deficit has not helped his case. Not only was Ovechkin unable to find the net, he was not registering any shots on goal in multiple games. However, his luck seems to have turned around as of late, as his goal in Sunday’s game against the Canucks marked the fifth straight for Alex Ovechkin. Notoriously, the Capitals’ captain is chasing the record of “The Great One” Wayne Gretzky, seeking 894 (or more!) regular-season goals in his career. Sunday’s goal marked 835, leaving just 59 biscuits in the basket to go for Ovi. Per NHL PR, the forward now has the third-longest goal streak for players over age 38, bested by Boston’s Johnny Bucyk (6) and Detroit’s Brett Hull (7).
Though the Washington Capitals fell in overtime to the Canucks, the team praised Ovechkin’s sudden uptick in offense in postgame media. “He’s hot right now. Obviously, we know he scores goals,” starting goaltender Darcy Kuemper remarked. “So to have him on the streak he is really helping us, obviously, and we’re all happy to see it.” Alex Ovechkin seemed rather nonchalant, stating, “I think, the puck goes in; it’s a good thing,” he said. “I’ll take it and move on.” Head coach Spencer Carbery also spoke highly of Ovi in his media availability:
“He’s playing at a real high level,” he said. “I feel like he’s even skating a little bit more. I feel like there’s a little bit more jump in his step. Talked about it a couple times since coming back from the break. So that’s a positive step, because we need him and it’s well-documented, our production issues. So for him to get going… these are positive things and you can feel him gaining more confidence as each one goes in and as he gets on.”
Though Ovechkin’s hot streak began in January, it has continued after the All-Star Break. Alex asked to be excluded from the All-Star weekend festivities this year, expressing his desire to rest before the remainder of the season. He and his family took a trip to Dubai, and the player took time to rest, recover, and have some fun off the ice. The player has, historically, played better in the second half of the season, and a week away from the rink may have been exactly what he needed.
His line is looking good all around, as well. The Ovechkin-Strome-Oshie line scored in both of this weekend’s back-to-back games, with Ovechkin and Oshie each adding a goal on the power play. Linemate T.J. Oshie praised Alex Ovechkin’s recent defensive play as well, noting, “He’s doing a lot of little things really well that I think are helping us out defensively [and] that are leading to offense and odd-man rushes for him.” Capitals’ center Nic Dowd added, “The other two guys that he’s playing with have been playing well, giving him opportunities to shoot, and he’s been finishing.”
After tallying a three-point weekend in the Capitals’ back-to-back games, Alex Ovechkin now has seven points (5g, 2a) in his last five games and 16 points (7g, 8a) in his last 15 games. His last five-game goal streak came in March of 2021. Ovi will look to extend his goal streak to 6 games on Tuesday as the Capitals take on the Colorado Avalanche at home.