It’s funny what a difference a couple of months can make, isn’t it? Back in January, the hockey experts of the world had left Alex Ovechkin for dead, proclaiming that we would never be the player we once grew to love. Now just a couple of months later, Ovechkin is tied for the league lead in goals (25), and has found himself at the forefront of Hart Trophy conversations among the media. That gets us thinking about all of the moments that made us fall in love with this once kid. Well, now man, I guess.
Anyway, here are our top 10 Alex Ovechkin moments:
10. Goal v Buffalo, December 26, 2008
One of the prettier goals of Alex Ovechkin’s career. Ovi put the puck around the defenseman to his forehand, jumped around him, and burned Sabres goaltender Patrick Lalime five-hole. Not half bad.
9. Hit and First Career Hat Trick at Anaheim Mighty Ducks, January 13, 2006
Ovechin recorded his first career hat trick in a 3-2 win at the pond versus the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, and did it in style. Of course, we can’t seem to find the game highlights from that night, but here’s the video of the hit that almost/possibly killed Vitali Vishnevski:
8. One-Handed Goal at New York Rangers for 500th Career Point, February 5, 2010
This one was a beauty in yet another memorable Washington comeback win. Furthermore, the goal happened to look great if you were in Madison Square Garden that night, say, sitting about 25 rows up behind the net. Big shout out to Chip Mitchell for that one!
7. Four Goal Game at Ottawa, January 29, 2007
In their push for the playoffs, Alex Ovechkin found the net four times, including an empty netter that traveled roughly 150 into Ottawa’s goal to ice the game. Washington would take the offensive battle by a final of 8-6.
6. Four Goal Night v Montreal, January 31, 2008
Ovechkin went off for four goals against soon to be teammate goaltender Christabol Huet, including the overtime game winner after Washington blew a two-goal lead in the final minutes of the game. Ovechkin’s second goal of the game also happened to be one of the prettiest of his career.
5. First Playoff Goal v Philadelphia, April 8, 2008
After battling back from a 4-2 deficit in their first playoff game in the new era of Caps hockey, Ovechkin found an opportunity to sneak up on a Flyers breakout, pick pocketed the defenseman of the puck, and beat a stunned Martin Biron to go ahead late. There is a pretty strong argument to be made that this game announced hockey’s presence to the casual DC sports fan.
4. Toe-Drag Goal in Playoffs v New York Rangers, April 25, 2009
Just watch it.
3. First Playoff Hat Trick v Pittsburgh, May 6, 2009
After knocking off the New York Rangers in the first round, Washington moved on to play their archrival Pittsburgh Penguins in round two. The Caps would take game one at home, along with game two, where both Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby would register hat tricks. Ovi’s goals were beautiful to watch, and it was hilarious to watch him sing along, “Hey! You suck!” with the crowd on national television.
2. Spin Move Goal v Montreal, February 18, 2009
Here’s we find one of the few goals where Roman Hamrlik got burned worse than he usually did while in a Washington uniform! Ovi banked a puck off the boards and spun around Hamrlik on the left wing, skated down with a defender on his back, and scored from his backside past All-Star goaltender Carey Price. Not one of Hamrlik’s finer moments, but a beauty for The Gr8.
1. The Goal – v Phoenix, November 8, 2006
Here’s the one where no introduction is needed. As a young rookie, Alex Ovechkin announced himself to the world with what is likely the most spectacular goal in the history of the sport. Even Wayne Gretzky couldn’t believe his eyes.