The Washington Capitals are one of the oldest teams in the NHL by average age. A group of veterans brings a lot of experience and leadership to the table. Older players and longer careers also bring something else: impressive career milestones.
Ahead of the Capitals matchup against the Boston Bruins on March 3, 2021, at 7:00 pm EST, here is a look at some of the career milestones that sit on the horizon for Washington players.
Cheers to 700
Nicklas Backstrom is an excellent playmaker. Passing and quick thinking are hallmarks of Backstrom’s play and from this, he tends to amass quite a few assists every season. Out of Alexander Ovechkin’s 713 career NHL goals, Nicklas Backstrom has assisted an impressive 266.
While Ovechkin reached his 700 goal milestone just over one year ago, Backstrom now enters the spotlight as he approaches his own 700. Backstrom sits just one assist away from tallying up his 700th career assist.
With 15 assists in 21 games so far in the season, it is unlikely that Backstrom will leave fans waiting long for big number 700.
A Whole Bunch of Points
Washington Capitals defensemen John Carlson led NHL defensemen in points in the 2019-2020 season with 75 points in just 69 total games. In the current season, he has tallied 19 points in 21 games.
Carlson’s impressive offense has led him to a career total of 497 points. Look for him to join offensive rushes, take shots and get involved on the powerplay in the hopes of hitting point number 500 sometime in the near future.
Ovechkin is seemingly always on the brink of another scoring milestone. There are two big ones for him to look forward to in the coming games.
First, Ovechkin currently has 1,295 career points. With 17 points in 17 games, this season Ovechkin has kept up a good offensive pace. It is likely that he will be able to reach the 1,300 point milestone within the next few games.
And of course, it is nearly impossible to discuss Ovechkin without discussing his career goal total. Ovechkin currently sits at number seven on the all-time goal leaders in the NHL with 713 career goals. To reach the sixth spot on the list he will have to pass Phil Esposito, who scored 717 goals over the course of his career.
Games, Games and More Games
The Washington Capitals can expect a number of their players to hit milestone numbers of career games played this season.
Justin Schultz will enter his 500th career game in Washington’s matchup with the Boston Bruins on March 3, 2021. The defenseman won Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 seasons. He has scored 223 points in his career and currently serves as an important piece of the Washington defense.
Forward Richard Panik is also close to hitting his 500th career game. He has played in 490 games over his career and will hopefully hit number 500 in the Capitals game against the New York Rangers on March 20, 2021, at 7:00 pm EST.
Also heading towards a major career games milestone this year is Backstrom. The forward hopes to join 349 other players, including teammates Ovechkin and Zdeno Chara, in playing 1,000 career games. Backstrom has played in 977 games so far in his career, so it is likely that he will be able to reach his 1,000th game before the end of the current NHL season.