November is a month that features a holiday focusing on giving thanks. Since 2005, Washington Capitals fans have been doing just that for the ping-pong ball that gave the Caps the first pick in the 2004 Entry Draft. With it, they selected a player who would become the greatest goal scorer of his generation, if not all of NHL history. Here is how Novembers unfolded in the career of Alex Ovechkin.
November by the Numbers
The bloom of the new season that comes with October has fallen, and November can be a long distraction with the approach of the year-end holidays. But even with the distractions, Alex Ovechkin has been an extraordinarily productive player. Here are some of the most noteworthy facts and numbers with respect to Alex Ovechkin’s goal-scoring performance in November:
- 110. Ovechkin has scored 110 goals in November over 14 years. That ranks sixth in the NHL since 1979-1980.
- 86. Ovechkin scored a goal in 86 different days in the November portion of the schedule.
- 7. Ovechkin has scored seven goals on each of four dates on the November calendar: November 5th (in six games), November 25th (in five games), November 26th (in four games), and November 30th (in four games).
- 20. Ovechkin has 20 multi-goal games in November over 14 years. Three of them occurred in 2013, the year featuring his most frequent instances of such games.
- 2. Ovechkin has two November hat tricks in his career. His first came in on November 26, 2008, in a 5-3 win over the Atlanta Thrashers. He has November hat tricks in three of the last four years: November 23, 2016, in a 4-3 win over the St. Louis Blues; November 25, 2017, in a 4-2 win in Toronto against the Maple Leafs; and this past November 30th in a 5-2 win in Detroit over the Red Wings.
- 484. On November 19, 2015, Ovechkin scored a third period goal in a 3-2 loss to the Dallas Stars. It was his 484th career goal, passing Sergei Fedorov as the top career goal scorer among Russian-born players in the NHL. Fedorov scored his 483rd and final career goal in his 1,246th NHL game. Ovechkin passed Fedorov in his 777th career game.
- 11. Ovechkin scored 11 November goals, his most frequent goal scoring Novembers, in four different years: 2007, 2008, 2013, and 2018.
- 23. Ovechkin has goals against 23 different opponents in November games over 14 years.
- 11. Ovechkin has 11 goals scored against the Toronto Maple Leafs in November games, most against any opponent for the month.
- 58. There have been 58 different goalies on whom Ovechkin scored goals in November games over his career. Carey Price was nicked six times, the most frequent victim of Ovechkin.
- 8. Ovechkin has eight empty net goals in November games. Detroit (twice), New Jersey (twice), Toronto, Tampa Bay, Boston, and the New York Islanders were the opponents.
- 2. Ovechkin has on one occasion scored two empty net goals in a single game, that coming last November 30th in Detroit against the Red Wings in a 5-2 win. He is one of 15 players to accomplish the feat (Marcel Dionne and Mario Lemieux did it twice).
- 62. Ovechkin has 62 goals scored on home ice in November. That ranks third in goals scored on home ice in November since 1979-1980.
- 48. Ovechkin has 48 goals scored on the road in November in his career. That ranks ninth among all players since 1979-1980.
The Highlight Game
When Alex Ovechkin took the ice against the Dallas Stars on November 19, 2015, he was stuck in a four-game streak without a goal, failing to light the lamp since scoring against the Toronto Maple Leafs on November 7th to tie Sergei Fedorov with 483 career goals, most ever by a Russian-born NHL player. He might have had the record in that same game against the Maple Leafs, but he had a third period goal reversed on a coach’s challenge for goaltender interference. He might have had the record in the next game against the Detroit Red Wings, but despite putting 15 shots on Red Wings goalie Petr Mrazek he could not score in a 1-0 loss to Detroit. He might have had the record in the next game against the Philadelphia Flyers, but once again he lost the record-breaking goal to a coach’s challenge.
Against Dallas, though, he finally made one count. With Dallas holding a 2-1 lead as the clock ticked under 13 minutes in regulation, Ovechkin made a bee line for the net as T.J. Oshie circled out of the left wing corner with the puck. Oshie tried to thread a pass through the hashmarks, but it pinballed its way to the goalmouth to the right of goalie Kari Lehtonen. The puck bled out from the blue paint where Ovechkin was waiting to stuff it home for his 484th career goal and become the top Russian-born goal scorer in NHL history.