Alex Ovechkin’s claim as one of the greatest ever has an arsenal of statistical support.
He’s led the NHL in goals seven times, tying Bobby Hull for the most such seasons all-time. He’s alone in leading the league in power-play goals six times. And only three legends — Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, and Gordie Howe — have led the league in offensive point shares more times.
But until Thursday night, Ovechkin found his name uttered among Dan Marino, Charles Barkley, Marcel Dionne, and Ted Williams. Each men failed to achieve a title in their respective sport.
A perfect pass from Backstrom finds Ovechkin who nets the PP goal.
— NBC Sports Capitals (@NBCSCapitals) June 8, 2018
The argument is dumb, but it’s pervasive: that great players without a title should be held in lower esteem than those with.
It’s an unfair standard, ignoring all the things outside of a star’s talent required to win a ring — surrounding talent, coaching, management, and, arguably most importantly, timing.
But fortunately for Ovechkin, it’s an argument he’ll never have to hear again, delivering the Caps’ first title in their 44-year history.
You think he looked relieved?
— Cristiano Simonetta (@CMS_74_) June 8, 2018
Alexander Ovechkin hoists the Stanley Cup Trophy….Goosebumps pic.twitter.com/kKbZK5UyVD
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) June 8, 2018
Yeah, I’d say so.
Alex Ovechkin, Stanley Cup champion and king of words.
“Fans, we did it. Get some beers. Get some whatever and start celebrating. We’re the Stanley Cup champions!” pic.twitter.com/0P0AOXRdmT
— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) June 8, 2018