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Putting Ovechkin's 700 goals in the context of other sports achievements

Putting Ovechkin's 700 goals in the context of other sports achievements

Alex Ovechkin joined an exclusive club on Saturday with his 700th career goal. To many, that's just a number. OK, so it's a big number, but what does it really mean? To get a better understanding of how impressive a feat this was, let's look at it in terms of other sports.

Ovechkin is just the eighth player in NHL history to reach 700 goals. That is some pretty exclusive company. To achieve this requires not only a tremendous amount of skill but also some incredible durability just to play long enough to amass that many goals.

In baseball, there are only nine players who have hit 600 home runs. Only one of those players, Albert Pujols, is currently active.

A good football comparison would be 400 career touchdown passes. There are only five quarterbacks who have achieved this feat with Drew Brees the overall leader with 547. See Ovechkin as more of a running back than a quarterback? Well, then you could compare this to 100 rushing touchdowns, something only nine players have achieved in NFL history. Washington Redskins running back Adrian Peterson is the only active player to reach triple digits.

In basketball, only eight players have ever reached 30,000 points. LeBron James is the only active player to reach that mark.

When you start looking at some of the names, you begin to realize just how big a moment this was. Ovechkin is on par with players like Ken Griffey in baseball, Dan Marino or Marshall Faulk in football and  Julius Erving in basketball.

And he's not done yet.

Ovechkin has reached 700 goals at the age of 34, giving him plenty of time to continue climbing the list. He sits just eight goals shy of the seventh-leading goalscorer (Mike Gartner 708) and 17 of the sixth-leading goalscorer (Phil Esposito 717).

Seven-hundred goals is not a lifetime achievement award for Ovechkin, it's just the latest milestone in a career that has been full of them and will have many more to come in the next few years.

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Backstrom backs away from previous comment that Ovechkin is always yelling for the puck

Backstrom backs away from previous comment that Ovechkin is always yelling for the puck

With no live sports to watch, people have to find ways to pass the time. A fun way to do it is with NBC Sports Washington's NHL 20 simulations of the Capitals' scheduled games. Some of the players have even gotten involved joining the broadcast or reacting to the game results. So now, we have Joe Beninati and Craig Laughlin providing commentary plus actual players reacting to a video game simulation. What a time to be alive.

Nicklas Backstrom was the star of the first game that was broadcast on NBC Sports Washington -- a 5-3 win over the St. Louis Blues on March 24 -- with a hat trick performance. The real Backstrom gave a FaceTime interview afterward and said, "I don't do hat tricks that often, so it was nice to seal it off with a hat trick. You see what happens when you can't hear Ovi scream all the time for the puck."

On Wednesday, Backstrom joined the media for a Zoom video conference and was asked about that very answer. He quickly clarified that it was meant as a joke.

"You know what?" he said. "I felt so awkward doing that interview to be honest. I'm like, I've got to try to make this funny as possible. I don't know how to answer questions about simulation games. That was obviously a joke."

When you think about a real person having to do an interview about their digital player's performance, you can see how things could get awkward pretty quickly. Then again, if Ovechkin were always calling for the puck it would not be that surprising. He is, after all, one of the greatest goal scorers of all time. He could be forgiven for wanting the puck on his stick as often as possible.

Backstrom, however, said of Ovechkin that he doesn't need to call for the puck. Part of what makes him great is his ability to find the best place to be to score at all times.

"I think looking at it, [Ovechkin's] never yelling for the puck," Bacsktrom said. "He's just that good of a goal-scorer and I'm happy to give him the puck every time too. I was just trying to make that funny interview."

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Hath's Heroes is keeping Garnet Hathaway busy during the quarantine

Hath's Heroes is keeping Garnet Hathaway busy during the quarantine

Like the rest of us, Capitals' winger Garnet Hathaway is just trying to stay sane and helping out where he can.

His charity, Hath's Heroes, which provides meals to first responders, is especially important in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Hath's Heroes started working with Capitals' Chef Robert "Robbie" Wood to provide even more meals to first responders, which Wood is matching, plus an additional meal to a high-risk individual in need.

“Chef Robbie has been serving the Caps for a long time and makes unbelievable food, I can attest to it, and they also have a great initiative with Kid Power and DC Central Kitchen," Hathaway said on the Capitals Talk Podcast.

While many are fortunate to be able to work from home or be with family during the pandemic, first responders are out on the front lines.

“It’s the social responsibility of staying safe, keeping your distance and trying to stay healthy and protecting those around you," Hathaway said. "So I feel that’s where we can all feel great about helping somebody, by taking responsibility for your actions and helping out if you can."

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Doing one's part is important to flatten the curve and Hathaway says donations of any amount are appreciated.

“For donations, if you can, if you have the opportunity to and you’re capable of, any amount really does make a difference.”

When he's not working with Hath's Heroes, Hathaway has been spending time with his fianceé and dog and trying to learn the Harmonica he got for Christmas. "Silent Night" was the first song he learned to play.

“Months away from the Christmas season, but I think I’ll be ready by then," Hathaway said.

Aside from downtime, Hathaway has taken solace in finding structure in his day.

“I think the biggest thing is trying to find a structure that works, that I can stay physically healthy and mentally healthy." 

“For everyone that’s feeling cooped up in their house, they gotta stay active and they gotta get some fresh air and they gotta stay healthy," Hathaway said.

While everyone has been binge-watching Netflix's hit documentary "Tiger King," Hathaway says he hasn't had the opportunity to watch yet.

“I might be the only person in America not watching Tiger King, but that’s not to say that I won’t get there at some point."

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