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Can Ovechkin score 50 in 50?

Alex Ovechkin

Washington Capitals right wing Alex Ovechkin (8), from Russia, celebrates his goal in the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Nashville Predators, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)


Maurice “The Rocket” Richard was the first to do it. Brett Hull was the last. In between, three others did it -- Mike Bossy, Wayne Gretzky, and Mario Lemieux.

Now, Alex Ovechkin is hoping to do it, too.

We are, of course, talking about scoring 50 goals in 50 games -- an accomplishment that all of a sudden looks a lot more realistic for Ovechkin following his four-goal game last night.

From CSN Washington:

Ovechkin has 26 goals in 29 games, missing two games with a right shoulder injury. To achieve the league-recognized 50 in 50, Ovechkin would need to score 24 goals in the Caps’ next 19 games.

He could also net an injury-interrupted 50 in 50 with 24 goals in his next 21 games, which is similar to what Jari Kurri, Alexander Mogilny, Lemieux and Cam Neely did in their careers.

“Of course it would be nice to score that [many] goals in that [many] games,” Ovechkin said. “It’s really hard and it’s almost impossible to do it right now because the level of hockey is so high. You almost have to score every game or two a game to do that.

“We’ll see what’s going to happen. My job is to score goals. Every opportunity I have I’m going to try to put it in the net.”

Is it likely Ovechkin gets 50 in 50? It is not. But the fact we’re even talking about it is impressive in today’s NHL.

Suffice to say, the Capitals’ captain is facing slightly better goaltending -- not to mention much more advanced defensive systems -- than Gretzky did back in 1981-82 when the Great One scored his amazing 50 in 39.