What Alex Ovechkin is doing to the NHL right now is pretty unbelievable, even for the standard that he's set for himself over the first eight years of his career.
He increased his lead in the NHL goal scoring race on Tuesday with a four-goal effort (the third of his career) in Washington's come-from-behind 6-5 shootout win over the Tampa Bay Lightning, giving him 26 goals on the season and a five-goal lead over St. Louis Blues forward Alexander Steen.
When you add in what he did at the end of last season it makes the numbers even more staggering as he now has 48 goals in his last 50 regular season games. Considering the era that he's playing in and how down goal-scoring is across the league, this stretch of games is as good as any stretch by any player in the history of the league.
We've already talked about his chances of scoring 70 goals this season, and he hasn't really fallen off of that pace. He's still averaging more than five shots on goal per game and maintaining a 16.7 percent shooting percentage. If keeps those numbers up over the Capitals' remaining 51 games (and assuming he stays healthy) that's still a 70-goal pace for the season.
The NHL hasn't had one of those since 1992-93, a team when the average NHL game had more than seven goals in it. Games today are around 5.5.
His performance on Tuesday in the win over Tampa Bay was especially big as it helped the Capitals erase a 3-0 first period deficit (and bail out defenseman Mike Green for almost single handedly giving them that deficit). He scored a late first period goal to finally get the Capitals on the board, then added a pair of power play goals after Richard Panik was sent to the box for launching Karl Alzner face first into the boards.
After Tampa Bay regained the lead in the third period, Ovechkin overpowered Ben Bishop with just 32 seconds to play to send the game to overtime.
Remember when the league was trying to figure out what happened during those two years when he "only" scored 32 and 38 goals? Seems kind of silly now.