Alex Ovechkin is still the greatest goal-scorer of this generation but it could be a passing of the torch when the Toronto Maple Leafs face the Washington Capitals tonight.
As everyone knows, Toronto Maple Leafs superstar Auston Matthews is having the best individual season in team history. I know he’s not going to reach Doug Gilmour’s point totals of 30 years ago, but his goal-scoring ability makes it the team’s best individual season.
When Wayne Gretzky finished his career with 894 total goals, nobody thought that goal-total would be broken. It was very similar Hank Aaron’s 755 career home-runs record. However, it took a juiced-up cheater named Barry Bonds to finally break that record.
That’s what makes Ovechkin’s quest to beat Gretzky’s record so impressive.
He’s doing it in an era where it’s actually harder to score and goaltenders are better. It would be as if baseball made every park 500 feet long and Bonds only weighed 100 pounds, while breaking Aaron’s record.
Ovechkin’s goal-scoring ability is almost underrated at this point, as hockey fans everywhere should try to watch him play any time they can, because he’s a unicorn.
The only person to come close to Ovechkin’s presence since he entered the league is Auston Matthews.
Toronto Maple Leafs Matthews Looks For His 60th Goal in Front of Ovechkin
Funny enough, Ovechkin and Matthews were born on the same day 12 years apart: September 17th. That’s a special day because it’s produced the two best goal-scorers of the past 20 years.
Matthews is currently on-pace to equal Ovechkin’s greatest season of all-time.
- Alex Ovechkin:
- 2007-08 season: 82 games played, 65 goals, 112 points (stats: hockeydb.com)
- Auston Matthews:
- 2021-22 season: 68 games played, 58 goals, 99 points (stats: hockeydb.com)
- 2021-22 season (on-pace): 67 goals, 115 points
During the 2007-08 campaign, Ovechkin won the Hart Trophy, Maurice Rocket Richard Trophy and Art Ross Trophy all in the same season. Matthews probably isn’t going to win the Art Ross for the most points, but he’s bound to win the “Rocket” and Hart as the league’s most valuable player.
Matthews hasn’t said this publicly, but you’d have to assume that he admired Ovechkin as a kid and watched him very closely growing up. I mean, what kid didn’t want to play like Ovechkin as a child and grow up to be like him?
It will take two goals scored by Matthews, but he has a chance to score his 60th goal of the campaign tonight, against Ovechkin. That would be a very special moment if he did that in front of the “Great Eight”, and it would almost feel like a passing of the torch moment.
It will take another 10 years of incredible goal-scoring to get anywhere close to what Ovechkin has accomplished in his career, but if there’s anyone who can do it, it’s Matthews.