Welcome back to a much-beloved series on the Nation Network: Throwback Thursday. We’ve resurrected this weekly piece from the grave in thanks to a fancy website that allows us to take a look at newspaper archives.
So without further ado…
On this day in 1982, Wayne Gretzky scored his 70th goal of the season in a 5-3 victory against the Washinton Capitals. As we all know Gretzky was basically a cheat code that broke the NHL, and this was no further example. His 70th goal came at the 9:02 mark in the second frame off an assist from none other than Jari Kurri.
Now look — there’s only been eight players in the history of the league to put up 70 goals the most recent being Alexander Mogilny scoring 76 in 1992-93. Impressive, right?
But for Gretzky, who went on to score a league record 92 goals in that 1981-82 season, he wasn’t happy with only having a one-goal performance.
“I hit two goal posts and had another chance right at the end of the game,” Gretzky said after the game. “Usually when I get five or six golden opportunities like I did, I score more than that…. I got complacent I guess.
“I scored on a wrist shot in the all-star game and I thought I’d give it a try again.”
Hey, wait! Maybe Gretzky wasn’t a cheat code after all? He surely showed a little bit of realness by saying he needs to be better after …. *checks notes* …. scoring his 70th goal of the year.
Gretzky and teammate Paul Coffey gave a tip of the hat to Capitals goaltender Dave Parro that night, too.
Coffey said: “Gretzky, [Mark] Messier… everything we shot at him we stopped… I think the week had off hurt us. They [Washinton] played last night in Calgary, so they’d already loosened up.”
On Twitter: @zjlaing