SAN JOSE — It’s been a big week for Alex Ovechkin, collecting Instagram photos that make mere mortals marvel at the stardom in them. On Tuesday night in Los Angeles, Ovechkin attended the Lakers game, and after, he got an epic photo with Kobe Bryant and Novak Djokovic — just three guys who are some of the greatest players ever in their respective sports.
With the Washington Capitals off on Thursday and staying in Santa Monica, Ovechkin and his fiancée dined with Wayne Gretzky and his wife at a sushi restaurant in Malibu. The resulting photo:
There are 1,410 goals between the two gentlemen in that photo for those counting. Ovechkin said this wasn’t his first time talking with Gretzky, but it was the first time the two had an extended meeting like this one. Ovechkin said they talked about “hockey, life, all of the different things.”
“It’s a great experience,” Ovechkin said. “I had a great time. When you’re a little kid, you have a dream to meet him and talk to him. Obviously, it was a great time.”
After the team’s practice in San Jose, Capitals Coach Barry Trotz was asked if he thinks Ovechkin can catch Gretzky’s record of 894 careers goals. Ovechkin has 516 goals in 11 seasons with Washington; this season he has 41 through 65 games played.
“In this era where goals are hard to score, Alex continues to score at a higher pace than the rest of the league,” Trotz said. “I think he’s got lots of good years left. I think he’s got about six more with us. If he were to keep at that pace for another six years and get another 300, that would probably pass, right? Or get close. Is he capable? Yeah. As he’s getting older, he’s going to have to be more diligent on everything from conditioning to the execution part of the game. But he’s an extraordinary athlete and extraordinary talent. Scoring goals, he’s got the gift.”