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A month of celebration for Alex Ovechkin

A month of celebration for Alex Ovechkin

It's the eighth month of the year, so what better way to celebrate August than by highlighting the Great Eight himself, Alex Ovechkin?

For the month of August, our Capitals team is releasing a daily 'Alex Ovechkin-themed highlight' tying into the number of the day for the month of August.

August 1: First Overall Pick in 2004 NHL Debut

Alex Ovechkin was drafted first overall in 2004, and he set the Caps franchise on a new course.

August 2: Two goals in NHL debut vs. Columbus

What's better than scoring one goal in your NHL debut? Scoring two! 

August 3: Three-time Hart Trophy Winner

Ovi's been the most valuable player in the NHL three times. Can he make it a fourth this year? 

August 4: Four career 4-goal games

Not many players can notch four goals in a game. The Great Eight has done it four times.

August 5: Kisses on the Cup during his twirl after they won

It took five games to beat the Vegas Golden Knights, but Ovechkin helped lead the Caps to their first Stanley Cup in franchise history. 

August 6: Scored OT goal vs Atlanta in six seconds on Dec. 15, 2006

In one of the fastest goals in NHL history, Ovi torched the Atlanta Thrashers for an overtime winner

August 7: Seventh-most game-winning goals in NHL History

Ovechkin has proven how clutch he is over his career and has the seventh most game-winners in NHL history with 107. 

August 8: Rocket Richard Trophies won

Ovi will be looking for a ninth scoring title, but the Great Eight currently holds eight of them

August 9: Needs nine Power-Play Goals to pass Teemu Selanne for 3rd most in NHL history

One of the deadliest power-play scorers ever, Ovechkin is only nine goals away from having the third-most in NHL history

August 10: Matt Bradley fight  

Ovechkin rarely gets into fights, but Steve Downie almost roped him into one had it not been for Matt Bradley

August 11: 11th among active players in assists

Many don't think of Ovechkin as an all-time great passer, but he currently ranks 11th among active players on that list.

August 12: 12-time All-Star

In Ovechkin's fourteen-year career, he's been an All-Star 12 times. He can make it a 13th in the 2019-20 season. 

August 13: No. 13 on the all-time goals list with 658

Alex Ovechkin has scored 658 goals during his fourteen-year career, landing him at No. 13 on the all-time goals list.

August 14: 14th captain in Capitals history

August 15: 15 goals scored in 2018 playoffs to win the Conn Smythe trophy

Alex Ovechkin scored 15 goals during the Capitals' 2018 quest to win the Stanley Cup, securing him the Conn Smythe trophy.

August 16: 16 total games missed since 2010

August 17: Ovechkin vs Dubinsky

It's not often we see Alex Ovechkin drop the mitts, but when he does he makes it count. On December 12, 2010, against the Rangers, Ovi went toe-to-toe with Brandon Dubinsky. The frustrated forward lost the bout, and the Caps lost the game, 7-0.

August 18: Birthday of Alex's son Sergei

On the ice, Alexander is as good as it gets. But off the ice, he's just as amazing with his family.

August 19: Alex Ovechkin drafts No. 19, Nicklas Backstrom

Throwing it back to the Capitals' draft selection of No. 19, Nicklas Backstrom, when Ovi announced the Caps' choice.

August 20: Winter Classic assist to Troy Brouwer

In the dying seconds of Ovi's second Winter Classic appearance, his broken stick and whiffed shot resulted in an assist to Troy Brouwer for the game-winning goal.  

August 21: 21st overall on career points per game list

August 22: 22 career overtime goals

August 23: Ovechkin schools Mara to score 'The Goal'

In 2006, rookie Alex Ovechkin beat #23 Paul Mara to score an unbelievably acrobatic goal en route to a 6-1 win over the Coyotes.

August 24: 24 career hat tricks for the Great Eight

Alex Ovechkin has 24 career hat tricks, the most of any active player in the NHL. Wayne Gretzky leads all-time with 50.

August 25: Career-best 25 power play goals in 2014

After scoring 24 power play goals the season prior, Ovechkin set a personal best with 25 in 2014.

August 26: 2.6 career hits per game

August 27: 27 points scored in 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs

August 28: 28 career even-strength goals vs Carolina and Winnipeg

August 29: The Florida Panthers, leap years and the 2004 NHL Draft

Alex Ovechkin on the Florida Panthers? How February 29th and the technicality of a leap year could have led to Alex Ovechkin being drafted a year earlier.

August 30: Coming soon!

August 31: Coming soon!


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3 Caps who impressed against the Blues in preview of the season opener

3 Caps who impressed against the Blues in preview of the season opener

Nicklas Backstrom scored with less than seven seconds remaining to give the Capitals the 3-2 win over the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday in a preseason preview of the regular-season opener. Radko Gudas and Richard Panik also scored.

Here are three players who impressed for the Caps.

1. Richard Panik

Panik got plenty of practice on the penalty kill with 4:16 of shorthanded ice time shorthanded. In that time he gave a glimpse of why he was so coveted by the Caps as a free agent.

In the first period, Panik pounced on a loose puck at the top of the faceoff circle in the defensive zone. Seeing he had room to work with, he did not just clear it down the ice and instead elected to skate up with it. He fought off the backcheck from Tyler Bozak through the neutral zone, drew an additional two Blues players to him, then drew a holding call from Bozak because he would not give up the puck.

Panik's 4:16 of penalty kill time was more than top penalty killer Carl Hagelin's 2:26, though the fact that Hagelin took two minors on the night probably had something to do with it.

Late in the game, Panik was also added to the power play as a sixth attacker with the goalie pulled. He would score the game-tying goal with just 1:09 left in regulation.

2. The goalies

Vitek Vanecek and Ilya Samsonov both played about a half of the game. It is really hard to evaluate a goalie on just 30 minutes of work, so I will give a shoutout to both as both played very well.

Vanecek got the start. He looked a little awkward at first, but settled in as the game went along for a solid performance. He stopped 13 of the 14 shots he faced with the only goal he allowed a weird deflection off of Brett Leason’s skate.

Samsonov took over about halfway through the second period and within minutes found himself defending the net on a 5-on-3 penalty kill. The penalty killers helped out their young netminder allowing only one shot on goal, but it was a good one. Colton Parayko one-timed a slap shot, but Samsonov was there to stop with no rebound. Soon after the penalty was over, Vladimir Tarasenko was all alone in front of the net, but was denied by Samsonov’s who stretched the blocker to deny the high shot.

Sanford scores on the PP. Samsonov wasn't tight against the post. Showed him too much daylight and Sanford made him pay.

Samsonov finished with 11 saves on 12 shots.

3. Connor McMichael

Boy, somebody got a confidence boost from Monday’s game. 

McMichael was given a second preseason game as a reward for his solid performance on Monday and he definitely showed off the confidence that comes along with being a first-round draft pick.

In the first period, McMichael found himself all alone with the puck on a mini-breakaway on Jordan Binnington. Just a reminder, this is the Binnington who was the starting goalie for the Stanley Cup champions.

So what did McMichael do? He skated to the front and tried the stick between the legs shot. It may not have worked, but you have to respect the confidence this kid had just to try, though no doubt the coaches probably had a few words for him in the locker room about it.

There was one area in which McMichael struggled, however, and that was on the faceoff where he lost all five draws he took on the night.


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Ovechkin awarded the prestigious Wayne Gretzky International Award

Ovechkin awarded the prestigious Wayne Gretzky International Award

Alex Ovechkin has already collected almost every award in hockey imaginable, and he just won another.

USA Hockey announced on Wednesday that Ovechkin will receive the prestigious Wayne Gretzky International Award. He will be honored at the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Dec. 12.

The award recognizes international players who have had a significant impact on advancing hockey in the United States.

After the Capitals drafted him first overall in 2004, Ovi has used his prominence in hockey to make an impact on the Washington area. Ovechkin started Ovi's Crazy 8's in 2006, providing more than 5,000 tickets to help underserved children attend Caps games.

2019 marks the sixth consecutive season that he will be hosting a skating event for the American Special Hockey Association. Ovi has also worked with several foundations to grant the wishes of ill children.

Over the course of Ovechkin's NHL career, youth participation in hockey in the DMV has nearly doubled, rising from 13,923 to 22,500, according to the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame.

“His performance on the ice and efforts off the ice have certainly translated into more kids and families wanting to be involved in our sport,” said Pat Kelleher, executive director of USA Hockey, in a press release. “He’s been a great ambassador for hockey and embodies what the Gretzky Award represents.”

Entering his fifteenth season in Washington, Ovechkin has made a habit out of winning awards.

Ovi's scoring prowess has him ranked thirteenth on the NHL's all-time goal list, and another 50 goal season would push him all the way to seventh.

Finishing his career as the top-ranked goal scorer is not out of the question, as Ovechkin continues to chase the namesake of his most recent award.