Two weeks ago, Brandon Dubinsky put in his two cents on the Ovechkin vs Crosby debate. He said on The Garage Beers Podcast, “F*** Sid. I’ll take Ovi every day of the week… Ovechkin’s the greatest goal-scorer of all time. I’m not saying he doesn’t have other things that makes him a special Hall of Fame or a once-a-generation player but he’s just a goal scorer.” Those are some strong words that obviously sparked controversy, especially when he doubled down on Twitter.
Now, I’m not here to discuss the debate. I’m here to state facts. Dubinsky is absolutely right. Alex Ovechkin is the greatest goal-scorer of all time.
Just the Facts
Today, Ovi scored twice against the Flyers. He now sits at 730 all-time goals, just one behind Marcel Dionne. This season alone, Alex has passed Mike Gartner (708) and Phil Esposito (717) in the all-time records. In his 15 seasons, Alex has recorded 8 seasons with 50 or more goals. He’s had 4 100 point seasons. He averages just over a point per game over his entire career.
Now, how many players do you know of that score from the same spot 80% of the time? Everyone knows it’s coming. Goalies know it’s coming. And yet, Alex Ovechkin has an office where he scores a good portion of all of his goals. Players will sacrifice their bodies to block it, but often the clapper is too strong and too laser accurate to be stopped. And while he prefers his office, Ovi has proved time and time again that he can score from just about anywhere. He loves his slapshots but will whip off a wrister or put a stick in the lane for a tip-in. (With feeders like Backstrom and Carlson, he always has an opportunity.)
Save Your Arguments
Gretzky was the Great One, I know. But here are some cold hard truths for you: scoring goals was a lot easier 20-30 years ago. Think about it. Goaltending wasn’t taken seriously as a position until well into the 90s. Goalies today spend 1000 times more time and energy honing their craft. They get paid millions more dollars to take their jobs deadly serious. If Gretzky were in his prime in today’s NHL, there’s no doubt he would still be great. BUT. He would not have the same scoring ability as he did back in the day. (I don’t want to hear anything about having to dodge head-hunters; he had his own bodyguards, and Ovi is a certified freight train who can take care of himself.)
And don’t bring your “Sid is better” nonsense. Here’s the thing: Sid is a more well-rounded player. But Ovechkin is still a better goal-scorer. If we’re all honest with ourselves, our favorite teams would never turn up their noses at the chance of having either player. I hate the Penguins and am not really a Sid fan, but if Sid was suddenly on the Capitals, I wouldn’t be mad. They’re different players, both good at what they do. Saying Sid is better in this context is stupid.
Let Me Reiterate
Alex Ovechkin is the greatest goal-scorer of all time. He will surpass Brett Hull by the end of 2021, if not Jagr, too. The man is a machine, and as we all know, the Russian Machine Never Breaks.
-Heidi Thomas (@DamselOnDrums)
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