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Will The NHL Ever See 50 Goals in 50 Games Again?
Total Pro Sports – It has been over 17 years since we have last seen a player in the NHL score 50 goals in 50 games. It is a feat that has only occurred 8 times throughout NHL history. Five players: Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Mike Bossy, Maurice Richard and Brett Hull have been the only players to ever achieve this illustrious milestone. With the last being Brett Hull in the 1991-1992 season, when he scored exactly 50 goals in 50 games.
According to NHL regulations the record must occur in the teams first 50 games of the season, not the players first 50 games. With the change in the style of play in the NHL and the quality of players and goaltenders this record may become simply a forgotten thing of the past, as players struggle to simply remain healthy and play an entire 82 game season. However, there are two players currently on pace to reach 50 in 50 : Alexander Ovechkin (11 goals in 11 games) and Ilya Kovalchuk (9 goals in 8 games).
Wayne Gretzkey holds the record as the fastest player to meet the mark of 50 goals in 50 games. Gretzky reached the milestone in the Oilers 39th game during the 1981-1982 season. Gretzky scored an incredible 9 goals in two games to complete this record, and had 50 goals before anyone else in the league even reached 30. Its safe to assume that Gretzky’s record will never be broken. Simply put Gretzky was a player ahead of his time. Not to take anything away from “The Great One”, but if either of the two players currently on pace to reach 50 in 50 (Ovechkin, and Kovalchuk) played in the 80’s they to, would have been able to put up the same type of numbers, guaranteed. Goalies and players then were simply not at the same caliber as they are now. It is for this reason that if a player were to reach the 50 in 50 milestone again, they should be held at a higher standard than those who previously met the mark.
In todays NHL it is rare that players are able to score 50 goals in even 82 games, as last season only one player scored 50 or more (Ovechkin had 56 goals in 79 games). It is hard to imagine that a player in this era of hockey will ever be able to complete the sought after 50 in 50 mark again…but one can dream.