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When will Ovechkin reach 500 goals?


When will Ovechkin reach 500 goals?

Alex Ovechkin has already established himself as one of the best scorers in NHL history, but he is on the verge of yet another career milestone. With 475 career goals, Ovechkin stands just 25 goals away from joining the elite company of 500-goal scorers.

The only question is, when will he score No. 500?

Ovechkin scored 53 goals last season, the sixth time he has scored 50 or more goals in a single season. Nothing is guaranteed, but barring an injury or suspension that keeps him off the ice, it seems safe to assume he will get at least 25 this season considering he has never scored fewer than 32 in one year. It would take a decline the likes of which we haven't seen since Jim Carey for Ovechkin to fail to reach No. 500 over the next regular season.

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To get a better idea of when it may happen, let's look at Ovechkin's past seasons. Below is a list of each of his previous NHL seasons, how many games it took to reach 25 goals, who the head coach was and Ovechkin's scoring rate per game over the course of the entire season:

2005-06, 39 games, Glen Hanlon, .642 goals per game

2006-07, 36 games, Glen Hanlon, .561 goals per game

2007-08, 36 games, Glen Hanlon/Brouse Boudreau, .793 goals per game

2008-09, 35 games, Bruce Boudreau, .709 goals per game

2009-10, 30 games, Bruce Boudreau, .694 goals per game

2010-11, 64 games, Bruce Boudreau, .405 goals per game

2011-12, 57 games, Bruce Boudreau/Dale Hunter, .487 goals per game

2012-13, 39 games, Adam Oates, .667 goals per game (lockout shortened season)

2013-14, 29 games, Adam Oates, .654 goals per game

2014-15, 45 games, Barry Trotz, .654 goals per game

The purpose of including who the coach was at the time is to provide context for each season and to perhaps explain why he scored at a certain rate in a certain year.

It seems unlikely that Ovechkin is going to score at a rate of over .700 again not only because that is an absurd pace, but also because it happened during offense-heavy years of Bruce Boudreau. Only twice in his career has Ovechkin scored at a rate of less than .500 goals per game. It happened in Boudreau's last full season with the team when he employed the trap and in the next season when Dale Hunter took over.

Those years are outliers and Ovechkin is unlikely to be used in the same way under Barry Trotz.

For his career, Ovechkin has scored at a rate of .625 goals per game. It has been more the past three seasons, but given that Ovechkin will be 30 and that Nicklas Backstrom's recovery could keep him out of the lineup at the start of the season, a slight decline in production from around .650 down to around .600 or .625 is very much possible especially considering this is right around his career average. At that rate, it would take Ovechkin 40 to 42 games to reach 25.

Since Ovechkin has not played in 82 games since the 2007-08 season, when counting out games on the Caps' schedule let's add in another game just to account for injury or a suspension. That brings us to mid-January.

Here are a list of games that fall within the likely range:

Caps at Rangers, Jan. 9

Senators at Caps, Jan. 10

Canucks at Caps, Jan. 14

Caps at Sabres, Jan. 16

Given how much Henrik Lundqvist, Ryan McDonagh and Dan Girardi seem to frustrate Ovechkin, the last three look like better bets for an Ovechkin goal.

Trying to project what a player like Ovechkin can do is often a futile exercise, fans of the Great 8 have learned to expect the unexpected. But if you wanted to make sure your calendar was clear for watching Ovechkin join the ranks of the 500-goal scorers, those would be the dates I would circle.

MORE CAPITALS: Can Kuznetsov adequately replace Backstrom?

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Touted Prospect Shane Gersich signs with Caps, joins team immediately


Touted Prospect Shane Gersich signs with Caps, joins team immediately

The Caps signed University of North Dakota forward Shane Gersich, a fifth round selection in 2014 and one of the organization’s top prospects, on Friday morning, the team announced.

Gersich, a left shot who is listed at 5-11, 175-pounds, has already joined the team in Montreal, where the Caps play the Canadiens at Bell Centre on Saturday night.

His contract, which begins this season, carries an average annual value of $925,000.

It’s unclear when Gersich will make his NHL debut, but it could happen at some point in the Caps’ final eight games before the playoffs.


NBC Sports Washington has been told that the primary objective for Gersich in the coming weeks is to get his first taste of the NHL by observing—and practicing alongside—his new teammates in Washington. If the opportunity to get him into the lineup presents itself, then it’s possible he’ll suit up.

The 21-year-old just completed his third season at UND. Here are Gersich’s numbers from junior and college, courtesy of


At UND, the smooth-skating and skilled Gersich also produced this memorable goal vs. Denver:

Gersich has been assigned jersey No. 63 in Washington, according to the Caps’ website.

The addition of Gersich and subsequent subtraction of Travis Boyd, who was reassigned to Hershey on Friday morning, leaves the Caps with 14 forwards on the roster.

“I think he did a great job at rookie camp,” Caps GM Brian MacLellan said of Gersich in July. “He was one of our best players, if not the best player, at camp. Really happy about the way he’s progressed and where we picked him. I think Ross Mahoney did a great job with that pick.”

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Stanley Cup Playoffs 2018 projection: Still too close to call in the Metropolitan Division


Stanley Cup Playoffs 2018 projection: Still too close to call in the Metropolitan Division

The Stanley Cup Playoffs are right around the corner and there is still a lot to be decided.

The Metropolitan Division is going to come right down to the wire as each team seemingly continues to win and put the pressure on the first place Capitals.

With just over two weeks remaining in the regular season, the playoff matchups for the first round of the NHL playoffs are still up in the air with only five points separating the top four teams in the Metro. Washington is in good position with a four-point cushion between themselves and the second place Pittsburgh Penguins.

With both teams meeting on April 1, however, the Caps are still a long way off from clinching the division and earning home ice in the first round.



Eastern Conference (As of Friday 3/23):

1M Washington Capitals (93pts) vs. WC1 Philadelphia Flyers (88pts)
2M Pittsburgh Penguins (89pts) vs. 3M Columbus Blue Jackets (89pts)
1A Tampa Bay Lightning (106pts) vs. WC2 New Jersey Devils (82pts)
2A Boston Bruins (100pts) vs. 3A Toronto Maple Leafs (95pts)

Western Conference (As of Friday 3/23):

1C Nashville Predators (106pts) vs. WC1Anaheim Ducks (88pts)
2C Winnipeg Jets (98pts) vs. 3C Minnesota Wild (90pts)
1P Las Vegas Golden Knights (100pts) vs. WC2 Colorado Avalanche (88pts)
2P San Jose Sharks (93pts) vs. 3P Los Angeles Kings (89pts)


Washington has won only one out of four games against the Philadelphia Flyers this season. That's not an ideal first-round matchup for Washington, but there is still time for the Flyers to climb and overtake Columbus or Pittsburgh in the standings.

What seems unlikely to happen is for New Jersey or Florida to pass Philadelphia. While things remain close near the top of the standings, there seems to be a growing divide between the top-four teams in the Metropolitan Division and the two teams battling for the final remaining spot in the playoffs.

The Flyers may be in fourth place in the division, but they still boast a healthy six-point lead over the Devils who sit in the second wild card.

If we assume New Jersey and Florida will not be able to climb to any postseason position, but the second wild card, that makes the three most likely candidates to face Washington in the first round Pittsburgh, Columbus and Philadelphia.


Metropolitan Division
1. Washington Capitals (93 points, 74 GP, 40 ROW)
2. Pittsburgh Penguins (89 points, 74 GP, 40 ROW)
3. Columbus Blue Jackets (89 points, 75 GP, 36 ROW)

Atlantic Division
1. Tampa Bay Lightning (106 points, 74 GP, 45 ROW)
2. Boston Bruins (100 points, 72 GP, 42 ROW)
3. Toronto Maple Leafs (95 points, 74 GP, 37 ROW)

Wild Card:
WC1. Philadelphia Flyers (88 points, 75 GP, 36 ROW)
WC2. New Jersey Devils (82 points, 73 GP, 32 ROW)

Still in the Hunt:
Florida Panthers (81points, 72 GP, 34 ROW)


Central Division
1. Nashville Predators (106 points, 73 GP, 43 ROW)
2. Winnipeg Jets (98 points, 73 GP, 42 ROW)
3. Minnesota Wild (90 points, 73 GP, 38 ROW)

Pacific Division
1. Las Vegas Golden Knights (100 points, 74 GP, 44 ROW)
2. San Jose Sharks (93 points, 74 GP, 38 ROW)
3. Los Angeles Kings (89 points, 75 GP, 39 ROW)

Wild Card:
WC1. Anaheim Ducks (88 points, 74 GP, 34 ROW)
WC2. Colorado Avalanche (88 points, 74 GP, 39 ROW)

Still in the hunt:
St. Louis Blues (85 points, 72 GP, 34 ROW)