The Chicago Blackhawks begin their month of December with a very tough road trip. They have three games on the east coast against the Washington Capitals, New York Rangers, and New York Islanders. All of those teams have high hopes of being in the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Of the three, the Washington Nationals have the best chance.
The first of the three games are in the nation’s capital where the Hawks will have an incredibly hard challenge. Facing the Capitals is very tough because they are loaded with elite players. None of them are more elite than their captain, Alexander Ovechkin.
The Great 8 is having an MVP-caliber year so far and would be a Hart Trophy finalist if the season ended today. At 34 years young, he is still one of the very best hockey players in the league. He scores goals at an incredibly high rate which is why he has 19 on the season.
Those 19 goals only trail Leon Draisaitl of the Edmonton Oilers who leads the league. He also only trails Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid for the NHL’s scoring lead. It has truly been a remarkable start to the season for the future Hall of Famer.
Ovechkin is also sitting on 749 career goals. He only needs 145 more in order to catch Wayne Gretzky to become the NHL’s all-time leading goal scorer. To be honest, 1000 career goals isn’t even close to out of the question. It is a treat to be alive at the same time as this guy because he is the greatest goal scorer who ever lived.
The Chicago Blackhawks have their hands full trying to contain Alex Ovechkin.
The Chicago Blackhawks are going to do their best to keep him from scoring. In order to do that, you need to be on him at even strength and focus solely on him when they are on the power play. You know that with the man advantage, he will be sitting there in his office waiting to slap one-timers. It is, obviously, much easier said than done.
These days, it is notable if you only hold Ovechkin to one goal. If you hold him to 0 goals, you really did something right (or were just lucky that day). He also has 608 career assists so calling him a pure goal scorer is wildly inaccurate. He is almost as good at setting up his teammates as he is at scoring the actual goals.
Speaking of his teammates, he certainly has some good ones. So far this season, Evgeny Kuznetsov has been brilliant as well. He is tied for fourth in the NHL in scoring. He surely enjoys playing with the Capitals because there are so many great players around him but he is a big help as well.
There are also other great impact players on the team like John Carlson, Tom Wilson, Dmitry Orlov, and TJ Oshie. Nicklas Backstrom is still there but he hasn’t played yet this season because of any injury. With the good goaltending that they get, it is a dangerous group that is only going to get more dangerous.
Ovechkin is the number one player to watch but this is a team that is primed to make another deep run in the postseason. If the Hawks are going to have a chance, they need to have one of their best games of the season.