Alex Ovechkin, at the age of 36, is 164 goals away from tying Wayne Gretzky for the NHL record of 894 goals. That’s still a couple of years away, but Ovechkin’s first goal of this season will tie him for fifth all-time with Marcel Dionne at 731. After that come Brett Hull at 741 and Jaromir Jagr at 766, with only Gordie Howe (801) and Gretzky after that. If Ovechkin isn’t third all-time by the end of the season, it’s bad news for the Capitals.
Meanwhile, Sidney Crosby is 14 goals away from becoming the 46th member of the 500 club, and Joe Thornton, now with the Panthers, has an outside shot at breaking the top 10 on the NHL’s all-time scoring list. Thornton enters the season at 1,529 points, in 14th place, with Phil Esposito’s 1,590 as the number to match for 10th place. The last time Thornton had 61 points in a season was 2015-16, so he’s unlikely to get to Esposito, but Paul Coffey (1,531) and Mark Recchi (1,533) are legends that Thornton will pass quickly, with Ray Bourque sitting in 11th place at 1,579.