Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin’s Viral Photo Sparks Concerns Over Weight

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 03: Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals reacts against the Arizona Coyotes at Capital One Arena on March 03, 2024 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

The Washington Capitals clinched a postseason berth that nobody expected them to get in 2024. Then, the New York Rangers quickly swept them in the first round of the playoffs.

Capitals’ captain and franchise legend Alex Ovechkin is enjoying the time off and having some fun before he gets back to work ahead of next season later in the summer.

However, Yegor Yakovlev sharing a photo of Ovechkin on his Instagram on June 14 is bringing some concern to Capitals fans, as these days, the franchise does not have close control over him

“Clashed in a Padel battle, friendship won,” Yakovlev wrote in Russian on his post, captured by X user @HockeyNewsHub. Ovechkin and Yakovlev played a padel match with Vitali Fridzon and Anastasia Myskina.

Ovechkin appears in a fully sweated Capitals-branded tee and boasts a huge frame in the photo. Fans are accustomed to Ovechkin’s hulking body but this picture makes Ovechkin look a bit bigger than usual.

Ovechkin, who will turn 39 years old in September 2024, will play his 20th NHL season in 2024-25 while trying to become the best goalscorer in league history.

Capital’s Ovechkin’s Bounceback Season Within A Season

Ovechkin ended the 2024 season appearing in 79 games and scoring 31 goals, 34 assists, and 65 points, along with a plus/minus rating of minus-22. It marked another step in a steady decline spanning three years.

Ovi has gone from scoring 90 points in the 2022 season to 75 in 2023 and 65 last year. The closest Ovechkin had been to his most recent numbers was back in 2012 when he scored 65 points in 78 games.

The Russian forward had a rough start to the season, scoring just 8 goals through the first 43 regular-season games of 2024. After the All-Star break, however, Ovechkin’s performance improved significantly.

Ovechkin scored 23 goals and 13 assists, totaling 36 points, in the final 36 games of the season helping Washington get into the postseason against all odds.

Once in the playoffs, however, Ovi couldn’t do anything and finished the postseason with no points in four games.

Ovechkin Chase of Wayne Gretzky‘s Goalscoring Record

While the offseason is a time for professional athletes to disconnect and enjoy not thinking about the sport for a few weeks, Ovechkin’s case is a bit special.

The Russian is chasing a record that few thought possible to break when Wayne Gretzky hung his skates. With 853 goals in 19 seasons, Ovechkin is “only” 41 goals from matching the GOAT’s goalscoring record of  894. 42 would put Ovi above all players to ever grace an NHL rink.

“I’m always saying the same thing: If I make it, it’s good, but it’s still 42 goals,” Ovechkin said during the end-of-season media availability on April 30, via “It’s kind of a long way, but it’s possible if you’re going to be healthy, yeah.”

Ovechkin acknowledged the need to stay healthy and at the peak of his conditioning if he wants to break the goalscoring record. Ovi will be 41 when his contract runs out in July 2026.

Gretzky scored 894 goals in 1,487 games playing for the Edmonton Oilers, the Los Angeles Kings, the St. Louis Blues, and the New York Rangers. Ovechkin racked up his 853 to date playing exclusively for the Capitals and appearing in 1,426 games.

Ovi is the only NHL player with over 700 goals scored while playing for only one franchise. Steve Yzerman ranks second with 692 playing only for the Detroit Red Wings. Mario Lemieux is a close third with 690 scored donning exclusively the Pittsburgh Penguins jersey.

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