Time to be real, Alex Ovechkin isn’t breaking Wayne Gretzky’s goal record

alexander ovechkin goals
Feb 23, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) and Capitals right wing Tom Wilson (43) wipe their faces with towels during a timeout against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the third period at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Alexander Ovechkin is on the hunt for one of the NHL’s “Great” records. The Washington Capitals sniper is just 182 goals away from overtaking Wayne Gretzky as the All-Time Goal Leader.

It’s time to get real, he isn’t catching the Great One.

Alex Ovechkin: The Great 8 chasing the Great One

Ovechkin sits seventh on the list today with 712 goals. With a 56 game schedule, it was always going to be a challenge for the 35 year-old to break the record. Things became even more difficult when Ovechkin landed on the NHL’s COVID protocol list and missed four games.

While that certainly didn’t help, Ovi hasn’t been exactly lighting it up this season. He has 6 goals on the year and is on pace for just just 22 goals. That’s if he doesn’t miss any time or the NHL has to cut the season shorter.

Now Ovechkin could still find a way to score 30 goals this season and that would at least make the race to 894 interesting. Still, we have to really look at what it would take for this record to fall. It’s a lot.

alexander ovechkin goal record
Feb 21, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) breaks his stick while shooting the puck against the New Jersey Devils in the second period at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Can Alex Ovechkin still get it done?

The biggest question is can Ovi do it at his age? Considering he just won another Rocket Richard Trophy at 34, the answer to some was more of a “sure, why not?” But this COVID-19 shortened season really hurt that possibility.

Let’s just play it conservatively and say he only scores 35 goals a season from here on out, it will take 5 years. That means he needs to go on a tear this season to get back in it.

Now let’s be realistic, will he be able to score 35 goals 5 years from now? I doubt he’ll have Nicklas Backstrom as his center too. That means Ovechkin will need to have at least two 50 goals seasons in that time span to make it even close. 50 goals on a Caps team that is heading for a decline soon with all it’s aging stars.

Ovi is great, don’t get me wrong – he’s just not going to be the great one when it comes to all-time goals at the end of his HOF career. That will still belong to Wayne Gretzky.