After watching too much of the NHL network, (partly because I have been sick the last few days, and partly because I have the TV to myself) a spot that keeps playing is Wayne Gretzky's amazing 50 goals in 39 games. But it made me think, could 50 goals in 50 games be duplicated again? And who has the best chance to do that?
50 goals in 50 games is a mark that was only achieved by five players, eight times in the NHL. Maurice "Rocket" Richard, Mike Bossy, Mario Lemieux, Brett Hull and Gretzky. In modern day NHL that milestone seems to have taken a back seat in recent years.
In today's players, Alex Ovechkin and Sid "the Kid" Crosby are the two names that come to mind that may be able to break that record again. Maybe Vincent Lecavalier, Jerome Iginla or Ilya Kovalchuck could hit that mark if the conditions are right.
It is a harder aspiration to make in today's NHL. The goaltenders are bigger and are much better than Gretzky and Lemieux's time. The dreaded butterfly that was perfected by Patrick Roy has changed the game making it harder for the outside shot to slip by other stand up, old school goaltenders.
But if there was a chance to see that number crumble, dynamic scorers like Crosby and Ovechkin are your best bets. Ovechkin more so since this season Capitals will be a much more aggressive offense on the direction of Bruce Boudreau.
Here is some food for thought, in Ovie's last 50 games (a stretch from Dec. 15, 2007 to April 5, 2008), he scored 42 goals. Eight shy of 50 goals in 50 games. If the Caps get off to a quick start (knock on wood), could he be the next player to bear down on the 50 goals in 50 games mark?