Games and Theory: Fifty in Fifty


It’s a very elite, unofficial club to belong to.  Every member of the club has been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.  As we all sit and watch Tampa Bay Lightning’s Steven Stamkos attempt to recreate the accomplishment for the first time in almost 20 years, lets take a look back throughout history and see the who’s who of NHL scoring titles.

The original 50 in 50 member, is none other than Maurice “The Rocket” Richard.  He did it by scoring an even 50 goals in an even 50 games.  An impressive feat – given the fact that in 1945-1950 the NHL season was only fifty games long.  Not without controversy, when Bobby Hull broke this fifty goal record in 1966 – Richard fans were quick to point out the fact that Hull had more games to accomplish the feat, Hull fans quickly responded that Richard’s record was set during WWII, at a time when most NHL caliber players were off fighting in the war.  Richard was subsequently playing because he was deemed unfit for service.

As the ’40s crept to the ’50s, crept to the ’60s…and on and on to the 1980-1981, it would seem that no one would ever be able to match Richards 50 in 50, making the members only club with a population of 1.  Mike Bossy of the New York Islanders was up to the task however, netting two goals in the final minutes of his 50th game, to make it 50 in 50.  Bossy almost had company that year, as Charlie Simmer had a hat trick in game 50 to reach 49 goals.

Mike Bossy was not able to bask in the limelight as long as The Rocket had, because Wayne Gretzky hammered the record in the 1981-1982 season.  Heading into game 38 of the season, The Great One had 41 goals.  That left him 12 chances at scoring just nine goals.  He did it in two.  He scored four goals in game 38, and five goals in game 39, eventually scoring the still standing league record of 92 goals in a single season.  Gretzky accomplished the feat again in 1983-1984, and 1984-1985 being the first person to accomplish the task more than once in an NHL career.

In 1988-1989, I was finally old enough to witness a fifty in fifty, as Mario Lemieux joined the club.  Lemieux did it in his teams 46th game, it was only his 44th of the year.

Brett Hull is the last member of the club to date, being only the second person in the history of the league to accomplish 50 in 50 not only twice, but in back to back seasons.

HONORABLE MENTIONS – players that scored 50 in 50, but in 50 individual games, not their teams 50th game.

Jari Kurri -(1984-1985) 50 in 50/53 (individual/team games played)

**Alexander Mogilny -(1992-1993) 50 in 46/53

Mario Lemieux -(1992-1993&1995-1996) 50 in 48/72 and 50 in 50/59

Cam Neely – (1993-1994) 501 in 44/66.

** Alexander Mogilny is currently the only person in or near this club that has not been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Steven Stamkos, is on his way to becoming a member of this elite club, but a lot can happen in the next 21 games.  So far this has been Stamko’s output:

October 9th – ATL – 2 goals

October 13th – MON – 1 goal

October 14th – PHI – 1 goal

October 18th – DAL – 1 goal

October 22nd -ATL – 3 goals

October 30th – PHO – 1 goal

November 3rd – ANA – 1 goal

November 6th – SJS – 1 goal

November 9th – TOR – 2 goals

November 11th – WAS – 1 goal

November 12th – PIT – 1 goal

November 17th – NYI – 1 goal

November 18th – PHI – 3 goals

Will his youth and team keep him back from achieving this amazing goal, or will be defy the odds and keep up this pace?  He might just be the answer to the question of Sidney vs. Ovechkin?  He was unable to score against the Buffalo Sabres last night, so his number are right now 19 in 20, he has 30 games to score 31 goals.

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