Monday, October 5, 2009
In the first NHL games played since June 7, 2004, a gap of 16 months due to the previous season being entirely lost to the lockout, a new era in the NHL was ushered in with a bang.
Two of them.
As it was on this date in 2005 that Alexander Ovechkin arrived in the NHL, scoring twice to lead the Washington Capitals past the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets by a 3-2 score in front of 16,325 fans, 89% of capacity, although many more will claim to have been there.
Drafted first overall in 2004, Ovechkin became the first Washington Capital to score two goals in his NHL debut, with his first goal coming in the second period just 23 seconds after Columbus had scored the game's first goal. Ovechkin's second goal came on the power play 89 seconds after the Blue Jackets had taken a 2-1 lead.
He would set the league on fire and finish the season with 52 goals and 54 assists for a stellar 106 points for third place overall in the league. His accolades that year would include the NHL All-Rookie Team, NHL First Team All-Star, Offensive Player of the Month in January 2006, NHL Rookie of the Month in December 2005 and January 2006, NHL Offensive Player of the Week twice, the Kharlamov Trophy winner as the Most Outstanding Russian Player in the NHL and the Calder Memorial Trophy as Rookie of the Year.
That year he would also find time to participate in both the Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy (5 points in 8 games) and the World Championships (9 points in 7 games) in Riga, Latvia.
Today's featured jersey is a special one. It's a 2005-06 Washington Capitals Alexander Ovechkin jersey as worn during the first period of Ovechkin's first ever game with the NHL Cares/Katrina patch on the right chest.
The NHL Cares/Katrina patch was worn by all players during just the first period of their first home game of the 2005-06 season. The game worn jerseys were then auctioned off for charity to raise funds for the Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund. Ovechkin's jersey sold for a high bid of $6,710.
Our first video is from the 2004 draft, when Ovechkin's was taken first overall by the Capitals.
Next up is Ovechkin's first NHL goal from the game on October 5th, 2005 when today's featured jersey was worn. Notice by now the NHL Cares patch is no longer on his jersey, as the patch was only worn during the first period, and his first goal comes in the second.
Finally, here are some of the amazing highlights of Ovechkin's rookie season when Alexander the Great burst onto the scene.