Alex Ovechkin is just on a completely different level.
We were treated to the ultimate warmup to the big game on Super Bowl Sunday when the Washington Capitals and the Philadelphia Flyers combined for an absolute classic at Capital One Arena with a total of 11 goals being scored. And Alex Ovechkin was the undoubted star of the show.
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Yes, Scott Laughton scored his first career hat trick in the National Hockey League to power the Flyers to a big win, who improved to 8-3-2 on the year in an ultra-competitive East Division, but Alex Ovechkin was the main headline act as “The Great Eight” once again reminded us of why he’s one of the most dynamic and explosive talents to have ever played the game.
In what was just a bonkers showdown between two heavyweights of the East, Ovechkin landed the first blow of the night with his fourth goal of the year – and 710th career NHL goal – taking a hard pass from Tom Wilson on the power play before ripping one of his trademark rockets past Carter Hart to give the Capitals the lead.
The Alex Ovechkin show takes over for Washington Capitals on Super Bowl Sunday
It was a typical Ovechkin goal but the best was yet to come. At 16:36 in the first, the elite winger again proved that he has ice running through his veins and he produced a simply breathtaking moment that will live long in the memory thanks to the pure genius and brilliance of the play.
Taking a hard pass, Ovechkin looked up before gathering speed and with a Flyers defenseman coming across, the veteran pulled off an absolutely filthy and incredible between-the-legs move to blow past his opponent, leaving him for actual dust, before getting to the net and dishing a backhand pass to Wilson who buried the puck for Washington’s second goal of the game.
It was a vintage play from Alex Ovechkin who continues to dazzle and leave our jaws on the floor with godly-like plays, and it was yet another reminder of the fact that we need to appreciate the star’s talent now because he won’t be around forever, and we won’t see his kind again.
Scott Laughton did score at the end of the first and the beginning of the second to make it a tied game and attempt to take some of the shine away from Ovechkin, who responded in kind by carving out one hell of a shift. After having a shot blocked, the winger went behind the net before having another shot blocked but, now positioned at the point, he was able to wind up before unleashing a bomb of a one-timer that went in off the post to make it a 3-2 game for the Capitals.
Again, Philadelphia came back fighting thanks to a rocket from Robert Hagg and James van Riemsdyk staying hot with his seventh goal of the year, but this was the Alex Ovechkin show and he was involved in Washington’s fourth goal of the game as he took a hard pass from Wilson before quickly firing a sublime pass over to Nicklas Backstrom in the slot area, who performed a spin-o-rama before slipping the puck past Hart.
Granted, that was it with Sean Couturier scoring twice in his first game back from injury and Laughton completing his first career NHL hat trick as the Philadelphia Flyers completed a thrilling 7-4 win, but let’s not lose sight of the real story. This game belonged to Alex Ovechkin who did it all, combining mind-boggling skill with electric speed and one of the deadliest shots in all of hockey for a four-point night (2 G, 2 A). On the day when Tom Brady would go on to collect his seventh Super Bowl, Alex Ovechkin also had himself an absolute day on Super Bowl Sunday as he continued to prove why he remains one of the biggest stars the NHL has to offer, and he now has 18 career points (12 G, 6 A) in 14 games on Super Bowl Sunday. It was a special outing from a special player.