Connor McDavid’s quest for his second consecutive Art Ross Trophy (NHL leading scorer) continues tonight against the Columbus Blue Jackets, another team battling for a playoffs spot.
McDavid has 24 goals and 45 points in his past 27 games and has erased the 12-point lead Nikita Kucherov had over him in mid-January. McDavid now has a four-point lead with six games remaining as he tries to become the first player since Jaromir Jagr to win back-to-back Art Ross trophies.
1. Jagr won four in a row between 1998-2001, and since then 12 different players have won. Jarome Iginla won in 2002 and the winners, in order, from 2003 to 2017 are: Peter Forsberg, Marty St.Louis, Joe Thornton, Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin, Malkin, St.Louis (no playoffs), Crosby, Jamie Benn (no playoffs), Patrick Kane and McDavid.
2. If he wins, McDavid will be only the 15th player in NHL history to win two scoring titles. Wayne Gretzky won the most, ten, Gordie Howe and Mario Lemieux won six, Jagr and Phil Esposito won five, Stan Mikata won four, Bobby Hull and Guy Lafleur won three while Crosby, Malkin, St.Louis, Bobby Orr, Dickie Moore and Bernie (Boom Boom) Geoffrion each won it twice.
3. McDavid needs one point to reach 100 in consecutive seasons. In the history of the NHL there has been 273 occasions where a player scores 100 or more points, but only 107 players have had 100-points in a season. Currently 49 of them have done it once, but when McDavid scores his next point, that number will drop to 48, and he will become the 59th player to have at least two 100-point seasons. Thirty-five players have had three 100-point seasons and only five players have had seven, or more, seasons of 100 points. Can you name the seven? (Answer below).
4. Phil Esposito was the first player to score 100 points in an NHL season, when he tallied his 100th on March 2nd, 1969. He finished the season with 126 points. Bobby Hull (March 20th), and Gordie Howe (March 30th), also reached 100 points in 1969. Howe did it one day before his 41st birthday. Crazy. The NHL had at least one 100-point player every year from 1969 until 1995 due to the lockout. Jaromir Jagr and Eric Lindros each had 70 points in 48 games so they would have reached 100 points most likely, but the lockout was foreshadowing to the beginning of 100 point seasons not being the norm.
5. In 2000, 2002, 2004, 2005 (no season) 2008, 2013 (48-game season) and 2015, no player reached the 100-point plateau. Hopefully the NHL begins another trend of having at least one, hopefully more, 100-point players each season. McDavid is only 21 years old and he will likely pick up his second 100-point season this week. Crosby has five 100-point campaigns so far in his career, while Alex Ovechkin has four, Evgeni Malkin and Joe Thornton have three, and Patrick Kane, Daniel and Henrik Sedin, Eric Staal and Nick Backstrom each have one. Nikita Kucherov and Nathan MacKinnon could join the club this year. If they do it will be the first time since 2010 the NHL has three 100-point players in the same season.
6. I hear many younger fans, bloggers or media say the 1980s were high scoring and that’s why Gretzky scored so much. The reality is between 1981 and 1989, when Gretzky’s point totals were 164, 212, 196, 205, 208, 215, 183, 149 (in 64 games) and 183, the only other players to have 135 points in a season were Lemieux (168 and 141), Steve Yzerman (155), Bernie Nicholls (150 playing with Gretzky), and Mike Bossy 147. Gretzky was on a different level than anyone else in the 1980s. He scored 1,700 points in those nine seasons. Next highest was Peter Stastny with 986 points.
7. For those who like adjusted era to compare, over those nine seasons today, Gretzky would have scored 1,275 points, for an average of 140. I don’t love adjusted era, because it doesn’t account for many of the off-ice factors, but the reality is Gretzky scored like no other.
8. Ovechkin is the only active player to record three consecutive 100-point seasons. McDavid will try to match him next year.
9. Of the 48 players who scored 100 points once, twelve of them are in the Hall of Fame: Gordie Howe, Bobby Hull, Johnny Bucyk, Steve Shutt, Bill Barber, Joe Mullen, Mike Gartner, Mats Sundin, Eric Lindros, Brendan Shanahan, Brian Leetch and Denis Potvin.
10. Current organizations who have yet to have a 100-point scorer include in Florida, Nashville, Columbus, Minnesota, New Jersey and Vegas. Arizona hasn’t had any while playing in Phoenix, but Dale Hawerchuk, Paul MacLean and Teemu Selanne did it when they were the Winnipeg Jets 1.0. Dallas fans haven’t seen one either, but as the Minnesota North Stars Bobby Smith, Neal Broten and Dino Ciccarelli each scored 100 points.
11. Last season McDavid became the 29th different player to win the Art Ross since Elmer Lach was the first in 1948. Guy Lafleur (three in a row), Gordie Howe, Phil Esposito and Jaromir Jagr (four) and Wayne Gretzky (seven) are the only players to win three or more consecutive scoring titles.
*The five players who tallied 100 points seven times or more: Mike Bossy and Peter Stastny did it seven times, Marcel Dionne had eight, Mario Lemieux ten and Wayne Gretzky had 15 seasons with 100 or more points. He actually had eleven seasons of 140+points.
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Source: Jason Gregor, Verified Twitter Account, 3/27/2018 – 9:00 am MST