I saw a graphic on Wednesday that noted that Alex Ovechkin needs just 32 goals to pass Bruins legend Jaromir Jagr and take sole possession of third place on the all-time list.
The graphic wondered aloud whether or not Ovechkin will do it, which doesn’t seem like much of a question to me.
The better question: can he reach Gretzky?
Ovechkin is 164 goals behind Gretzky on the all-time list. Over the past five regular seasons, he’s scored at a pace of 0.57 goals per game.
He also just signed a five-year contract extension, which is (ballpark) 400 more regular season games.
400 x 0.57 = a new all-time goals leader! Of course, a whole bunch of things would have to go right for this to come to fruition, but it isn’t as far-fetched as some seem to think.
All of this, in turn, made me think of the longest-tenured Bruin and what kind of records he may be able to break.
Patrice Bergeron, everyone’s favorite human, is heading into his 18th (!!!!) season with the Bruins. That’s 1,143 regular-season games of Patrice!
While there’s no way that Bergeron reaches the top of the Bruins’ all-time goals or points lists (John Bucyk and Ray Bourque were pretty good), there’s one that’s within reach: the all-time games played mark.
That record is held by Bourque, who played 21 seasons with the Bruins, a total of 1,518 games — an average of 73 games per season.
Bergeron, who would be in much better shape had he not missed more than an entire season due to a concussion and a lockout, has played an average of 67 games per season.
He currently trails Bourque by 375 games — which means he’d have to play six more seasons at his average rate to surpass Bourque.
Bergeron and Ovechkin are similar in age, and it wouldn’t be outside the realm of possibility to see Bergeron sign a four- or five-year extension after this season ends.
If Bergeron lasts five more years, he’d have to play 75 games per season to catch Bourque. It might be tough sledding.
One thing that jumped out to me when looking up the numbers for this is just how good Bergeron has been for the Bruins.
Bergeron is in the top-five in Bruins history in:
- Games played
- Goals created
- Even-strength goals
- Shorthanded goals
- Game-winning goals
Today’s discussion topic
Bet the house — does Bergeron beat Bourque’s Bruins record for games played?