Alexander Ovechkin Day-to-day After Suffering Upper-Body Injury vs. Maple Leafs

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IV

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 24: Capitals left wing Alexander Alex Ovechkin (8) waits for a face-off during the Vegas Golden Knights versus Washington Capitals National Hockey League game on January 24, 2022 at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.. (Photo by Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Washington Capitals superstar winger Alex Ovechkin is listed as day-to-day after suffering an upper-body injury during Sunday's game against the Toronto Maple Leafs.  

Ovechkin suffered the injury when he took a hard fall in the third period:

ESPN @espn

Alex Ovechkin is out for the remainder of the game after taking this hard fall in the third period. <a href="https://t.co/UbCpA6MfDg">pic.twitter.com/UbCpA6MfDg</a>

The 36-year-old Ovechkin is one of the greatest goal scorers in NHL history, and he is in the midst of another spectacular season with 90 points on 50 goals and 40 assists.

Ovechkin is the most accomplished Russian player in NHL history, and few current players can come close to matching his resume.

In addition to receiving his 12th career All-Star selection this season, Ovechkin is a three-time Hart Memorial Trophy winner as NHL MVP, nine-time Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy winner as the league's leading goal scorer, one-time Art Ross Trophy winner as the NHL's leading point scorer and the winner of the 2006 Calder Trophy as NHL Rookie of the Year.

Ovechkin also led the Caps to a Stanley Cup win in 2018, and he won the Conn Smythe Trophy as postseason MVP that year as well.

Additionally, Ovechkin is third on the NHL's all-time goal-scoring list with 780, placing him behind only Wayne Gretzky and Gordie Howe.

Given Ovechkin's pure volume of shots on goal and goals, he is essentially an impossible player to replace when he is out.

It will take a group effort to make up for a potential Ovechkin absence with forwards Evgeny Kuznetsov, Tom Wilson, Conor Sheary and Lars Eller, as well as defensemen John Carlson and Dmitry Orlov all needing to step up offensively.

Even with Ovechkin in the lineup, the Capitals have had something of an up-and-down season.

They only have the eighth-most points in the Eastern Conference with 100, meaning they are a playoff team but haven't truly established themselves as Stanley Cup contenders.

Being without Ovechkin would make it all the more difficult to challenge for a title as well.