Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin have long formed one of the most formidable offensive duos in the NHL.
This week on the Capitals Talk Podcast, Backstrom and Ovechkin sat with Rob Carlin to talk about everything from their early days together to their future.
One of the biggest storylines throughout Ovechkin's prolific career is his pursuit — whether he admits it or not — of Wayne Gretzky's all-time goals record. Ovechkin isn't too keen to talk about it, but Backstrom's stance is clear.
"Yeah I mean I did my math for the radio show there," Backstrom said. "No, you know what, I think it’s, I’m not gonna jinx it for him, but I think it’s doable. For sure. Like, without a doubt. I think so. And I know he’s hungry for it too."
The math would require 236 more goals for Ovechkin to tie Gretzky. He's averaged just under 50 goals per season during his career, meaning he'd need at least five more seasons to eclipse The Great One. That begs another question: Can Ovechkin keep up that pace and style of play late into his career? For Backstrom, the answer is simple.
"You know I honestly think [Ovi's] comment is the best one yet, 'Russian machine never breaks.' So I honestly think that’s actually true," Backstrom said. "So you know, he’s gonna play until he’s done. Whenever he decides. That’s up to him. So I mean I think it fits him very well."
There's no telling what the future holds for Ovechkin's game. Some superstars slowly break down, some decline rapidly. Others go out on top. Ovechkin didn't give a direct answer to the question, but he was sure about one thing. If he does it, he'd like Backstrom by his side.
"We’ll see. [Backstrom is] gonna sign six more years, and then I’ll sign for five more years and then, here we go," Ovechkin said.
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