Tuesday night at Verizon Center, Alex Ovechkin gave the Capitals a thrilling 6-5 overtime win. He also accomplished some more history. The one-time goal, which was beautifully assisted by John Carlson, was Ovechkin’s 19th overtime tally of his career.
Not only is that a Caps’ franchise record, Ovechkin is now tied with with hockey fossil Jaromir Jagr for the most OT goals in NHL history.
Former Capital Jaromir Jagr just hit a milestone against the Capitals. The 44-year-old Jagr became the third player of all time to score 750 career goals. The tally, Jagr’s second career goal on Braden Holtby, came after the Czech rifled a one-timer past the 2016 Vezina Trophy winner.
During the 2010 Winter Olympics, Alex Ovechkin rocked Jaromir Jagr with what he later would describe as “the best hit in my life.” Six years later, Jaromir Jagr’s body is ready for more devastation.
On Thursday, the NHL legend* spoke with the Miami Herald’s George Richards about Hurricane Matthew, the powerful Category 3 storm churning just off the Florida coast. The catastrophic storm was blamed for the deaths of more than 280 people in Haiti.
Photo: Christopher Hanewinckel
I’ll say this for the All-Star Game: it was entertaining. Just because the stakes were non-existent, the stretch passes were careless, and the skating was lackadaisical didn’t mean there was an absence of drama. Quite the opposite. Just look at hero of the day John Scott. Or, for a Caps-specific angle, how about Braden Holtby vs Jaromir Jagr.
Twice in the first period, Holtby, franchise goalie for the league-leading Capitals, faced Jagr, 43-year-old freak of nature and the single biggest agitator of the Caps since the early 1990s, twice in the first period.
The glorified three-on-three hockey tournament the NHL is calling the All-Star Game now has its captains. On Saturday afternoon, the NHL announced that Washington’s Alex Ovechkin will captain the Metropolitan Division all-star team.
The first round of players named to the all-star game also includes Jaromir Jagr, Patrick Kane, and John Scott. Along with Ovechkin, those players will serve as captains of their respective divisional teams.
Kane leads all players in points this season, Jagr leads all active players in career points, Ovechkin is one of the best scorers of all-time, and John Scott is a half-funny, half-cruel prank concocted by online fan voting.
Photo: NY Times
Alex Ovechkin has been an elite goal scorer since he first set foot in the NHL. He’s also has been one of the most feared body checkers in the league too. For instance, in Ovechkin’s first game as a Capital 10 years ago, he dislodged a pane of glass while hitting a Columbus Blue Jacket player behind the net.
In an interview with Graham Bensinger (which airs in its entirety this weekend), Ovechkin was asked what his biggest hit was.
“Probably [Jaromir] Jagr in Olympics,” Ovechkin said.
Photo: Julio Cortez
Alex Ovechkin can score goals. Everybody knows that. His lamp-lighting ability is unmatched in this generation (sorry, Stamkos). And as Ovechkin takes aim for Peter Bondra’s Capitals franchise goal record (472, just 23 away), I asked myself how the Russian machine stacks up against the league’s all-time greats.
In the first period, the Washington Capitals defense was about as holey as my fifth grade gym socks, which I should really throw out. No worries though; Braden Holtby was on the case.
The Holtbeast made his slickest save of the season, robbing future hall-of-famer Jaromir Jagr from point-blank right at the end of the period.
If we ignore his time with the Washington Capitals (which I recommend), Jaromir Jagr has been one of the greatest players in hockey history. He’s scored 700+ goals, won two Stanley Cups, and led the league in points five times. He also gave hockey the hockey mullet, which the sport still treasures twenty years later.
Last week, one chapter of Jagr’s career ended when the Czech Republic lost 3-0 to Sweden in the bronze medal game of the World Championships. After the game, a medal-less Jagr announced his retirement from international competition. I’m sure that made people sad; I just don’t know who those people are. Jagr will play one more season in the NHL with the New Jersey Devils.
In his honor, let’s remember Jagr’s final moments in this year’s tournament.
Photo credit: Patrick McDermott
On Saturday night, two of the greatest scorers of all time matched up. They’re similar players: elite snipers from Eastern Europe with innumerable fans but many critics. In 2001, the Washington Capitals gave Jaromir Jagr the largest contract in NHL history: seven years, $77 million. In 2008, the Washington Capitals gave Alex Ovechkin the largest contract in NHL history: 13 years, $124 million. For Caps fans, however, their feelings toward each are starkly different; they hate Jagr and they love Ovechkin.
In his latest return to Verizon Center, Jagr — like his hair — was majestic. He led the Devils comeback, scoring a goal and picking up two assists, including the primary on the game winner. All night, he faced boos from the 18,506 red-clad people, who haven’t forgotten his disastrous two and a half years in Washington.
“There was a couple ‘Zoo-by!” he joked, referring to linemate Dainius Zubrus. “Oh yeah, it was ‘Zooby!’
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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