Alex Ovechkin Opens Season With Consecutive Hat Tricks
The Washington Capitals opened the 2017-18 NHL season with a 5-4 shootout victory at Ottawa on October 5th. Alex Ovechkin scored three of the Washington goals. He went one better than that two nights later in the Capitals’ home opener against the Montreal Canadiens. Scoring four goals in Washington’s 6-1 win. This was the first time a player opened the season with consecutive hat tricks since the 1917-18, when three players did it.
Needless to say, with seven goals in two games, Ovechkin is well ahead of his goal scoring pace of last year, when he had 33 in 82 games. His career high is 65 goals, set in the 2007-8 season.
While Ovechkin’s performance in the first two games has been obviously outstanding, the Capitals problem over the years has been to compile an impressive regular season record only to disappoint, or flop, in the playoffs. Washington has finished the last two regular seasons with the best record in hockey, but hasn’t won any Stanley Cups. Going back further, the Capitals have won nine division championships since the 1999-2000 season, but haven’t even made it to the Finals in that time. The Capitals, who have been in the NHL since the 74-75 season, have made it to the Stanley Cup Finals just once. That was in the 97-98 season, when they were swept in four games by the Detroit Red Wings.