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Ovechkin approaches Hull in fourth place in scorers

by archysport

So Hull isn’t surprised to see the Washington Capitals forward approach his total of 741 goals at full speed. With eight goals in his first seven games this season, Ovechkin is three goals away from joining Hull for the Capitals’ game against the Arizona Coyotes at Capital One Arena on Friday (7 p.m. ET; TVAS , NBCSWA, BSAZ; ESPN +, NHL LIVE).

“It’s not like I’m expecting him, but I know he’s going to pass me, of course,” Hull said Thursday. It will still be great to be in the top-5 when he arrives. “

Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009, Hull amassed 741 goals in 1,269 regular season games over 19 NHL seasons with the Calgary Flames, St. Louis Blues, Dallas Stars, Red Wings of Detroit and the Coyotes before retiring in 2005. Ovechkin scored 738 goals in 1,204 regular season games over 17 seasons.

Having edged out Hull, the Russian forward would find himself only behind Jaromir Jagr, with 766 goals, Gordie Howe, with 801, and Wayne Gretzky, who holds the NHL record with 894 goals.

“I spend a lot of time with Mr. Gretzky, and on the golf course, when he puts the ball in the hole, he gets up and tells us that you have to know how to earn a nickname (La Merveille). Ovi is definitely playing up to his, the ‘Great Eight,’ Hull said. It’s nice to see him. I won’t say he’s one of a kind until he gets past Wayne. He will be able to say that he is unique at that time. But he is definitely part of a group of players that can be described as snipers.

“The fact that he continues to play in such a way, you have to tip your hat to him.” He is an exceptional player. “

Hull followed in the footsteps of his Hall of Fame dad Bobby Hull (1983) who ranks 18th in NHL history with 610 goals in 1,063 games over 16 seasons with the Chicago Black Hawks, the Winnipeg Jets and the Hartford Whalers. Bobby Hull had four 50-goal seasons in the NHL, including a high of 58 with the Black Hawks in 1968-69.

Brett Hull is in his 50s five times, including three consecutive seasons of at least 70 goals with the Blues: 72 in 1989-90, 86 in 1990-91 and 70 in 1991-92. His 86 goals in 1990-91 remain the third-best single-season total in NHL history, behind Gretzky’s 87 goals in 1983-84 and 92 goals in 1981-82.

Hull was 41 when he hung up his skates after five games in the 2005-06 season, but retired knowing he had given everything to get those 741 goals.

“I tell everyone I’m so happy to be able to quit hockey with nothing else to accomplish,” said Hull. Even though I was healthy, I know I couldn’t have what it took to score another goal. I just ran out of gas and had to settle into the shoulder lane. “

When Jagr passed Hull to take third place with his 742nd goal on February 20, 2016, Hull felt that Ovechkin would also pass him. And he will always be satisfied when he ranks fifth.

“It’s amazing,” commented Hull. Think of all the greats who have played this sport. We might have been lucky to play in an era where the number of goals has increased, but is it possible that there were more goals being scored because we were able to score more than at any time before? I don’t know, but players like Gretzky paved the way and made it so that instead of being happy to have scored your 50th goal in your last game of the season, you should instead make yourself a goal of score 50 in 39 parts.

“He made us understand that there were higher levels to reach, and I hope Ovi looks at him the same and says he wants to score as many goals as these players have.” could do. ”

Ovechkin also came within three goals of Dave Andreychuk’s record of 274 power play goals when he scored his 271st against the Red Wings on Wednesday. Ovechkin passed Hull for second in that category when he scored his 266th against the Boston Bruins on April 8.

Video: DET @ WSH: Ovechkin beats Greiss on his second shot

Like Hull, Ovechkin made the most of his powerful landing shot on the power play. NHL.com imaged each of Ovechkin’s goals, and of those 271 power-play goals, 109 were scored with a left-circle or top-of-circle reception (40 percent).

Hull adds that there is much more than one string to Ovechkin’s bow.

“A goal is a goal, and to be able to score as frequently as he does is the awesome thing,” said Hull. He doesn’t do it one way. It scores a lot of different ways. “

The biggest question Hull was asking about Ovechkin’s chances of breaking Gretzky’s record was whether Ovechkin was going to play long enough. He received the answer when the Russian forward signed a five-year contract to stay with the Capitals on July 27.

Now, Hull believes that if Ovechkin can stay healthy, “there’s a very good chance he can catch up with Wayne.” This possibility, however, inspires conflicting feelings for Hull.

“It would be spectacular for hockey, but because Wayne is one of my best friends, I always appreciate the fact that he’s the best ever,” said Hull. His career assist total (1963) is higher than the number of points collected by any other player in NHL history. Even though Ovi surpasses him, it shows how amazing Wayne was. He loves hockey, and he knows it would be great for hockey if that happened. “


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