There are numerous NHL and franchise milestones that could and should be reached in the 2018/19 season by some of the league’s star players. We’ll take a look at some of the achievements which will most likely be set during the upcoming campaign.
Russian sniper and recent Stanley Cup winger Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals enters the season with 607 regular-season goals to rank 19th on the overall goal scoring list. The Caps’ captain can move up to number 15 with 18 more goals. If he happens to finish the season with 650 career goals he would become the 14th NHL player to reach that milestone. At 1,122 points he is also 78 shy of 1,200 for his career and his 229 power-play goals are ranked ninth in league history. He could move to number four all-time in power-play markers with 17 more.
Thirty-nine-year-old centre Joe Thornton of the San Jose Sharks will enter the season with 1,493 regular-season games under his belt. Once he plays in his seventh game in 2018/19 he will become just the 19thNHL player to skate in at least 1,500 contests. In addition, Thornton currently has 1,030 assists and is just 10 away from ranking number 10 in NHL history for helpers. He also needs 31 more points to crack the top-15 all-time scoring barrier which Teemu Selanne currently holds with 1,457 points.
Pittsburgh Penguins’ captain Sidney Crosby could also crack the 1,200 point barrier as he enters the campaign with 1,116. This means he’ll need to score at least 84 points this year. It’s not out of reach though considering the centre has racked up at least 84 points in each of his last five seasons. Also, Crosby has skated in 864 regular-season games for Pittsburgh and once he reaches 915 he will become the franchise’s all-time leader in games played as he will pass the great Mario Lemieux.
Forward Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning enters the season with 348 goals and will become the franchise’s all-time leading goal scorer once he reaches 384. He needs 36 this season to break the current mark of 383 which is held by Vincent Lecavalier. Toronto Maple Leafs’ forward Patrick Marleau hasn’t missed a game since 2009/10 and has played in 1,575 regular-season games to rank 11th on the all-time list of games played. If he plays in at least 38 contests this season he will break into the top 10 and if he plays in all 82 games he will end the season fifth overall.
Los Angeles Kings forward Dustin Brown has played 1,045 times for the franchise while the team record for regular-season outings is 1,111 and held by Dave Taylor. Brown needs to suit up 67 more times to break the current mark. Anaheim Ducks’ forward Corey Perry has played 957 games with the franchise and should break the team record of 966 held by Teemu Selanne early in the season. Forward Ryan Getzlaf isn’t far behind Perry as he enters the season with 917 games under his belt for Anaheim.
Goaltender Tuuka Rask of the Boston Bruins is 51 games short of 500 for his career and once he plays in game number 469 he’ll set a new franchise record for games played by a netminder. Also, when Rask wins his 15thgame of the season he’ll set a new Bruins’ record of 253 wins.
Goaltender Roberto Luongo of the Florida Panthers reached a pair of milestones last season by becoming just the third NHL goalie to play in 1,000 games and he also moved to number four on the all-time wins list with 470. In 2018/19, Luongo needs six shutouts to move into fifth place as well as 14 wins to reach number three overall. He will also be ranked second all-time in games played for a goalie if he plays in 29 games this season and reaches number 1,030.
Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price already holds the franchise record for games played and is fourth in team history in shutouts. He’ll also become Montreal’s number one in wins if he can backstop his team to 29 victories in 2018/19. He enters the season with 286 career wins while Jacques Plante is the franchise leader with 314. Goaltender Jake Allen of the St. Louis Blues has won 117 games for the club and will pass franchise leader Mike Liut if he can win 36 games this year.