Alexander Ovechkin is proving , not only is he the most valuable player to his team, but that he is hands-down the best player in the game. He has separated himself from Sidney Crosby and is making a convincing bid to add his second straight Hart Trophy to his increasingly impressive resume. At the age of twenty-three he has already amassed 213 career goals, and when all is said and done, should rival the Mike Bossys and Brett Hulls as the most pure sniper of all time. And if goaltending equipment is the tiebreaker, Ovechkin will surely get the nod. The photographs below show the difference between what the high scorers of the 1980s faced compared to what number 8 is up against in the current NHL.
While Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin have been all over the score sheets this season, fellow countryman Pavel Datsyuk has been quietly putting together a career year, with 29-59-88 through 71 games. You can bet the Russians will be as dangerous an offensive team as there will be in Vancouver in 2010, when they challenge for Olympic gold.
|1.||(1)||Alexander Ovechkin||6.||(10)||Jarome Iginla|
|2.||(4)||Evgeni Malkin||7.||(-)||Joe Thornton|
|3.||(7)||Zach Parise||8.||(5)||Nicklas Backstrom|
|4.||(-)||Mike Green||9.||(9)||Pavel Datsyuk|
|5.||(3)||Marc Savard||10.||(-)||Tim Thomas|
|Note: Brackets indicate prior power rank.|