Observations On Ovechkin’s 600 Goals

     When Alexander Ovechkin scored his 600th goal last Monday night he became the 4th fastest in the history of the NHL to do so, trailing only Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, and Brett Hull.

      He also became the 20th player to reach the 600-goal plateau. I’ve watched the entire careers of every player ahead of him on that list and I enjoy watching Ovechkin as much or more as I enjoyed watching any of the others.

     On a goals-per-game basis Overhkin also rates 4th among modern players at .606, behind Mike Bossy at .762, Mario Lemieux at .754, and Pavel Bure at .623. Two players from a long-ago era (1916 to 1931), Cy Denneny  at .751 and Babe Dye at .746, are also ahead of Ovechkin in this category.

     Ovechkin’s .606 goals-per-game rate is slightly ahead of Gretzky’s .601, but unless he turns out to be another Jaromir Jagr, Gretzky’s 894 total goals is probably out of reach. But consider this. Ovechkin has played his entire career against many more skilled goalies than Gretzky ever faced. Also, Ovechkin has been facing goalies wearing lacrosse-like equipment that allows them to cover much more net than the beanpoles Gretzky faced. If a player with Ovechkin’s strength, drive, and blazing shot (not to mention teammates like Jari Kurri, Paul Coffee, and Mark Messier) had played 1,489 games (Gretzky’s total) during the high-scoring era of Gretzky’s career he’d have scored over 1,000 goals.

US Government Crisis Deepens

     The US government crisis deepened this week with Donald Trump’s firing of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and replacing him with CIA director Mike Pompeo, a former Tea Party congressman from Kansas whose main qualifications for being either CIA director or secretary of state are that Trump likes him and he’s a Trump lap dog. 

      Tillerson’s firing may be the most damaging move Trump has made since occupying the White House, not just because the secretary of state is the cabinet’s most important position but also because Tillerson was one of only three reasonable and objective people still in Trump’s cadre of advisors; the others are Chief of Staff John Kelly and National Security Advisor H. R. McMaster, both of whom are just waiting for the axe to fall.

      And there’s no point looking to Congress for salvation. The two most powerful Republicans, Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, for some reason, refuse to stand up to Trump; and the two most powerful Democrats, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, can’t seem to rise above being unprincipled political opportunists. It makes one wonder if they’re all just waiting for the impeachable offence to occur. 

     There’s not much credibility left in the US government, and the ripple effect of Tillerson’s      departure is going to be enormous.


      The above heading is not a telephone number with a hyphen missing, it’s a baseball scoring sequence with six hyphens missing, representing a double play the Red Sox pulled off against the Blue Jays last Monday.

      My interpretation of John Lott’s reporting of the play in The Athletic is that it went something like this. With runners on first and second, Curtis Granderson hit a grounder to the shortstop, which meant that the Blue Jays had three runners moving on the base paths. The shortstop fielded the ball and tossed it to the second baseman, who relayed it to the catcher backing up first base, who then threw it back to the shortstop. The shortstop tossed it to the first baseman who, by this time, was covering third. It’s not clear where the third baseman was. By then the centre-fielder and left-fielder had somehow gotten in on the act. When the dust finally settled, the ball had been handled seven times by six different Red Sox defenders and all three Blue Jay runners had been tagged out. But as there was already one out when Granderson hit the grounder in the first place, the play was officially recorded as a double play.

      OK, now repeat that.

Ontario’s June 7th Provincial Election

      Can Doug Ford win it? Quite possibly.

       If so, will he be, as some fear, a worse premier than Kathleen Wynne? Not humanly possible. 

        As I’ve written here before, the only impediment to Wynne being the worst premier in the history of the province is Dalton McGuinty.