Alex Ovechkin has scored a lot of goals in his 17 seasons in the NHL.
He’s lit lamps behind Hall of Famers like Dominik Hasek and Martin Brodeur, future Hall of Famers like Henrik Lundqvist and Marc-Andre Fleury, Vezina winners like Tim Thomas and Carey Price, and guys you’ve probably forgotten even existed (if you ever knew they did) like Michael Garnett and Fredrik Norrena. Heck, he’s been denting twines so long that he’s scored on ten former or future teammates
(and that doesn’t even count whomever they bring in this summer). Here’s the whole list, and it’s fun to pore over.
Also fun to pore over? Those actual goals. Like “The Goal.” Or the one where he backhand-passed it to himself off the boards against Montreal to beat one defender and took it straight to the cooker; you know the one.
The longevity is impressive, the highlights are jaw-dropping, and the totals are historic. So why not take a look at Alex Ovechkin’s best goals by age? Don’t mind if we do...
Age 20: January 16, 2006 at Phoenix
The Goal. Having Wayne Gretzky right there and looking up may be a little on the nose in terms of foreshadowing what the next couple of decades would hold, but Ovechkin’s signature moment - voted the greatest goal of the century - encapsulated everything the rookie was: powerful, skilled, exciting, creative, relentless. Simply sensational.
Age 21: December 15, 2006 at Atlanta
Among Ovechkin’s myriad goal-scoring records, “fastest goal from the start of an overtime” isn’t the most memorable (he shares it), but this puck theft and short-side wrister to complete a hat trick was.
Age 22: April 1, 2008 vs. Carolina
Ovechkin’s 65-goal 2007-08 season is still the high-water mark since 1995-96 and the highest total for a left wing in history, and his 63rd was a spinning blast off the pipe and in to cement a huge late-season win en route to the Caps’ first of many division titles in the Ovi Era. Ovechkin, individually, would go on to win the Hart, Ross, Pearson, Richard trophies that season. Hell, he even got Selke and Lady Byng votes!
Age 23 - April 24, 2009 vs. New York
Ovechkin followed up his first Hart season as League MVP with a second (56 goals, 110 points), and led the Caps to their first playoff series win of the era, capping Game 5 with this awesome individual effort as the Caps came back from a 3-1 series deficit.
Oh, hey, before we get to Age 24, let’s indulge a couple of Age 23 Honorable Mentions:
Is that any good?
Even in standard definition (ugh), that’s a beauty.
Age 24 - February 4, 2010 at New York
Ovechkin snagged his 500th career point in style with this inside-out, one-handed lefty tally over the shoulder of the best goalie of his generation to spark a 6-5 come-from-behind win. What a display of finesse and strength.
Age 25 - March 1, 2011 vs. New York
Overtime is Ovi Time - no one has done it more often. Here, he swats away Frans Nielsen as if the Dane were a mosquito and then flicks a backhander (somehow, with that curve) in from in tight.
Age 26 - March 18, 2012 at Chicago
This is one of Ovechkin’s favorite moves, and you can see why - he turns a Norris Trophy winner into a puddle in a 1-on-3 rush and finishes.
Age 27 - April 9, 2013 at Montreal
A little dipsy-doo at the top of the zone and a well-placed wrister will do (hey, he only scored 33 times as a 27-year-old... thanks, lockout!).
Age 28 - January 25, 2014 at Montreal
That’s a cool little juggle.
Age 29 - May 2, 2015 at New York
Ovechkin didn’t always get the better of Henrik Lundqvist (or Ryan McDonagh and Dan Girardi, whom he split on this rush), but when he did, it was often spectacular.
At least Jon Merrill will have a story to tell his grandkids some day.
Age 30 - October 10, 2015 vs. New Jersey
Fancy way to start the season and belatedly celebrate your 30th birthday!
Age 31 - October 22, 2016 vs. New York
Watch Ovechkin turn Marc Staal inside out like a sweat sock going into the laundry and then zip one into the upper far-side corner.
Age 32 - May 1, 2018 at Pittsburgh
Not that an Ovechkin-from-Backstrom game-winner in the playoffs against the Pens on a beautifully executed 2-on-1 with a minute left isn’t great on it’s own, but watch it a second time to see the hand-eye coordination on the finish. A month later, Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom would be Stanley Cup champions.
Age 33 - March 30, 2019 at Tampa Bay
Ovechkin’s eighth 50-goal season came in classic Ovi fashion, as he pounds home a one-timer while absolutely trucking 6-foot-5, 225-pound Braydon Coburn. Oh, and Ovi scored another one less than two minutes later for good measure.
Age 34 - February 22, 2020 at New Jersey
Another milestone achieved in style, this goal #700 on a fade-away one-timer. The power and the accuracy are pretty great, of course, but don’t sleep on a guy in his 15th season still being able to find soft spots in defenses from which he can launch those rockets.
Age 35 - February 21, 2021 at New Jersey
Nearly a year to the day later (in an empty arena with piped-in sound) comes Ovechkin’s Age 35 best. It’s subtle, but watch him kick Lars Eller’s pass from his skate to his stick (the only way he could really have handled it) before ripping it past Mackenzie Blackwood. It’s not all bull-in-a-China-shop stuff.
Age 36 - April 20, 2022 at Vegas
Last (for now) but not least, here’s a 36-year/215-day-old man blowing an unscreened clapper from the top of the face-off circle past an NHL goalie for his 50th of the season.
Age 37 and beyond - ???