- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 2, 2016

A lot of hype is deservedly surrounding Marcus Johansson, who has gone on a tear in the last three games, scoring five goals and seven total points.

His most recent goal came in a 3-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets. Johansson had a layup attempt right in front of the net that he initially put directly into Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck’s pads. But after a brief moment, Hellebuyck kicked his pads back and placed the puck directly into the net.

“I got lucky it went in,” Johansson said. “I mean, it was laying on top of his pad. I kind of missed a half open net at first. But, you know, sometimes it just goes your way a little bit and it’s good to see it go in.”

This season, Johansson has managed to score six goals in just nine games. His career high in goals is just 20, and he’s already on pace to smash that mark.

In fact, Johansson is on pace to score 55 goals this year, an absurd — and likely completely unattainable — number for Johansson.

But, interestingly enough, there has been one player who has reached those 50-goal seasons on the Capitals. Alexander Ovechkin has seven 50-goal seasons in his previous 11 seasons.

That just goes to show how incredible of a goal scorer Ovechkin is. While Johansson’s streak is certainly surprising and incredible, Ovechkin has essentially been able to maintain that same pace seven times over the course of his career.

Ovechkin ranks 33rd all-time in goals scored with 529. He’s four away from Francis Mahovlich’s career mark for 32nd all-time despite playing 333 fewer games. If Ovechkin manages another 50-goal season, he’ll pass Mike Bossy for 21st all-time, and he’s only 31.

By the end of his career Ovechkin will likely finish, at the very least, as a top 10 all-time scorer.

But hockey has changed dramatically over the course of the last several years. According to Sporting Charts, NHL teams averaged 2.74 goals per game. In 1992, that number was 3.63, meaning Ovechkin is scoring a lot of goals in a much more difficult time period to score goals.

Hockey Reference created a formula to adjust statistics across several different eras of hockey. According to their formula, Ovechkin could easily end up — under their adjusted criteria — being the most prolific scorer ever, even if he finishes with fewer goals than Wayne Gretzky’s 894.

• Tommy Chalk can be reached at tchalk@washingtontimes.com.

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