Alex Ovechkin is right in the middle of the longest goal-scoring drought of his remarkable 19-season NHL career.
The Great Eight is on the hunt to catch Wayne Gretzky as the NHL’s all-time goal-scorer, but at the moment, he’s on pace to finish with 15 goals this season.
Ovechkin has never scored fewer than 32 goals in an 82-game season, but his start to this year’s campaign has been anything but optimistic.
On Wednesday, the Washington Capitals won 3-2 in OT over the New York Islanders. Ovi had a primary assist on the game-winner, but he didn’t score in the game.
It marked the 14th straight game without a goal for Ovechkin, which is by far the longest goal drought of his Hall of Fame career.
Before Wednesday’s game, Ovi broke the silence on his drought and, for the first time, responded to the worrying lack of form.
“I don’t know,” Ovechkin told Tom Gullet for NHL.com on Wednesday. “Some luck. I have chances, I have pretty good chances, but sometimes it’s just a period of maybe you hold the stick too tight because you didn’t score or something. But I think overall, sooner or later it’s going to happen, and everything is going to go in.”
Ovechkin remains 67 goals behind Wayne Gretzky’s record of 894 goals. Ovechkin hasn’t scored since Nov. 18.
Ovechkin has had plenty of shots during his 14-game drought, but the puck just won’t go in.
“I think it’s frustration for me, I think frustration for everybody,” he said. “You can see we don’t score as many goals as we used to score, and I don’t know if you’re going to blame the system or whatever. We play hockey. We have to create chances. We have to create opportunities for yourself and for your teammates to set it up and have a good chance.”
Ovechkin said ’it’s his job’ to score goals, but at the same time, that’s not the most important thing.
“The most important thing is we collect the points, and we win the games,” he said. “I’d rather be in a playoff spot than score 20 goals and you’re out of contention.”