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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Could Ovechkin Break Another League Record?

When someone says the name Alexander Ovechkin, the immediate thought about him is what a great goal scorer he is.  He doesn't just score a lot of goals, he scores clutch goals, highlight reel goals, and clutch highlight-reel goals.  

Alex Ovechkin - NHL Record Holder

Ovechkin already owns the NHL record for most goals by a left winger in one season with 65, set in 2007-08.  He surpassed Luc Robitaille's record of 63 scored in 84 games in 1992-93.  Lucky Luc set another record that season with 125 points, a record that Ovechkin has a chance at breaking this year.  With 94 points in 59 games, Ovechkin is on pace for 118 points in 74 games.  It is not unthinkable that he could increase that pace and score 32 points in his final 15 games of the year.  

Luc Robitaille - NHL Record Holder

What might surprise you is that Ovechkin is also within striking distance of the NHL record for most assists by a left winger.  Joe Juneau set this record in 1992-93 as a rookie with the Boston Bruins when he racked up 70 assists in 84 games, (it is also tied for the NHL record for assists by a rookie).  With 50 assists in 59 games so far this season, Ovechkin is on pace for 63.  Put another way, Ovechkin would need 20 assists in his final 15 games to tie this record. 
Joe Juneau - NHL Record Holder

Doing the math, Ovechkin is on pace for 55 goals right now, and if he were to maintain that pace and reach 70 assists, he would have 125 points, and he would have reached those marks in 10 fewer games than the current record holders. Even at his current pace of 118 points, Ovechkin would have the 4th best single season by a left winger in NHL history.

Most Goals - Left Winger - Single Season
65 - Alexander Ovechkin, 2007-08
63 - Luc Robitaille, 1992-93
60 - Steve Shutt, 1976-77
58 - Bobby Hull, 1968-69
57 - Michel Goulet, 1982-83
56 - Alexander Ovechkin, 2008-09
      Charlie Simmer, 1979-80
      Charlie Simmer, 1980-81
      Michel Goulet, 1983-84

Most Assists - Left Winger - Single Season
70 - Joe Juneau, 1992-93
69 - Kevin Stevens, 1991-92
67 - Mats Naslund, 1985-86

65 - Johnny Bucyk, 1970-71
     - Michel Goulet, 1983-84
64 - Mark Messier, 1983-84

(Note:  Joe Juneau and Mark Messier moved to Center later in their careers)

Most Points - Left Winger - Single Season
125 - Luc Robitaille, 1992-93
123 - Kevin Stevens, 1991-92
121 - Michel Goulet, 1983-84
116 - Johnny Bucyk, 1970-71
112 - Alexander Ovechkin, 2007-08
      - Bill Barber, 1975-76

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