I finally had the NHL Network added to my programming a week ago, and obviously I can't turn it off. Something that they were talking about the other day was Mike Bossy's "50 goals in 50 games" accomplishment. I knew that he was the second play to ever achieve this after the great Maurice Richard, but I was wondering how many times it was done after him, so I looked it up.
Turns out that the feat has been performed eight times, by five different players: Richard (1), Gretzky (3), Lemieux (1), and Brett Hull (2). So my question to you guys is this: will we see someone added to this list in the near future, given that scoring in today's NHL is down?
Obviously, in my mind, the number one candidate has to be Ovechkin. Through 58 games, the guy has 48 goals. Two other incredible, albeit unrelated stats: only 11 times this season has AO been held pointless, and only on one occasion has he been held pointless in consecutive games. Absolutely amazing. Is there a better pure talent in the league? Ever since Sid the Kid has gone down, I've begun to think that AO's a better face for the NHL. No one is more passionate...so passionate that, on a team full of AHLers, he has everyone believing that they are playoff material. I don't see these qualities in Sid. Give AO the "C" already...he's earned it much more than Crosby has.
I think AO gets 50 in 50 within the next two years and gives Gretzky's record of 894 goals a <i>serious</i> run for its money. If you think I'm crazy, here are some mind-boggling numbers: he's on pace to finish with 68 goals this season, which would give him 166 goals in his NHL career (only three seasons). That's an average of just over 55 goals per season. If he keeps this pace up, he'll have topped Gretzky's record in just over 13 years from now, <i>at only 35 years of age</i>. Breaking this sacred record is inevitable, especially since the NHL keeps hinting at further rule changes to increase goal scoring. Just think if the Caps ever got his a reliable set-up guy at center. Scary.
Whether or not the Caps make the playoffs this year, AO should be the <i>slam dunk</i> Hart Trophy winner. But everyone should step back and look at the big picture: we are witnessing the greatest pure goal scorer this game has ever seen, plain and simple. Wrap your mind around that.
Consume, and I'd like to hear your guys' thoughts. Who else do you guys think could possibly hit 50 in 50? Rick Nash maybe? Is AO the greatest goal scorer of all time? Most importantly...doesn't Peter Forsberg have bigger issues to deal with than suing a racehorse company? :-)