GDB 62.0: The Wonder of 50 Goals (6pm MT, SNW)

Photo credit:© Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Jason Gregor
1 year ago
There is something magical about a 50-goal season in the NHL.
Only nine active NHL players have scored 50 goals in a season: Alex Ovechkin (9x), Leon Draisaitl and Steven Stamkos (2x), Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Corey Perry, Chris Kreider, Auston Matthews, and Connor McDavid reached 50 for the first time on Monday. McDavid became the 95th player in NHL history to score 50, and he did it in 61 games. Three of those active players will be on the ice tonight.
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McDavid is the fastest to 50 goals in a season since Mario Lemieux (50 games), Jaromir Jagr (60) and Alex Mogilny (61) did it in 1995-96. Here’s a list of all the players who scored 50 goals in 61 games or less and how many goals they finished that season with.
PlayerGame #Total GPlayerGame #Total G
W. Gretzky3992Brett Hull5472
W. Gretzky4287P. Esposito5461
M. Lemieux4485S. Yzerman5565
C. Neely4450W. Gretzky5562
A. Mogilny4676P. Esposito5668
M. Lemieux4869C. Simmer5756
Brett Hull4986J. Kurri5752
W. Gretzky4973P. Esposito5876
J. Kurri5071M. Bossy5869
Brett Hull5070J. Jagr5962
M. Lemieux5069W. Gretzky6071
M. Bossy5068P. Esposito6066
M. Richard5050L.McDonald6066
M. Lemieux5170A. Mogilny6160
B. Nicholls5170D. Maruk6160
C. Simmer5156M.Bossy6158
Bobby Hull5254C. McDavid61???
M. Lemieux5354
McDavid is the 17th player to score 50 goals in 61 games or fewer. (This list includes the player’s games played, not the team’s. Cam Neely for instance scored 50 goals in 44 games played, but it was the Bruins’ 66th game).
McDavid is on pace for 67 goals, but maintaining this type of goal pace is difficult.
If he reaches 60 goals he will be the fourth active player (Ovechkin, Stamkos, Matthews) and 22nd overall.
If he scores 65 goals he will become the 13th player to reach that mark and first since Ovechkin had 65 in 2008.
If he scores 70 goals he’d be the ninth player to do it and first since Teemu Selanne and Alex Mogilny each scored 76 in 1993.
I feel some have overlooked how big of an accomplishment 50 goals is, never mind doing it in 61 games, and when he’s on pace to score 155 points. He’s having an amazing season, one for the ages, and I’m surprised by the lack of focus on it. Only 95 players have scored 50 goals in a season and even fewer have scored 50 goals and 100 points.
McDavid is the 56th to reach both milestones in the same season. Only 24 have done it twice, including Leon Draisaitl, and he is on pace to do it for a third season.
The 50-100 is a great mark, but he’s on pace for 60 goals and at least 130-points, possibly 150. The list of players who scored 50 goals and 130 points is down to 16. It shrinks to eight who have had 50 goals and 140 points. And only five players have scored 60 goals and 150 points.
McDavid is on pace to win the scoring race by 30 points. To dominate your peers by that many points in a season is rare. The list of players to lead the scoring race by 20 points is small.
W. Gretzky198420579
W. Gretzky198718375
W. Gretzky198621574
W. Gretzky198520873
W. Gretzky198319672
W. Gretzky198221265
W. Gretzky199116332
M. Lemieux198919931
W. Gretzky198116429
P. Esposito197313026
G. Howe19539524
P. Esposito197414523
B. Orr197012021
C. McDavid202110521
G. Howe19518620
J. Jagr199912720
McDavid led the 2021 season by 21 points and that was in a 56-game season. McDavid is already in an exclusive club and he could join Gretzky and Lemieux as the only players to have a 30+ points scoring lead. And when anyone tells you everyone scored in the 1980s, just remind them that only Gretzky (and Lemieux, once) scored at his pace. It’s ridiculous how many more points he had than his peers and teammates.
As you watch the final 21 games this season, don’t take for granted what you are watching. McDavid’s season is going to go down in history as one of the best of all time.


Be sure to check out NHL lines site Betway for the latest Oilers game day odds!



RNH – McDavid – Hyman
Draisaitl – Yamamoto
Foegele – Mcleod – Janmark
Kostin– Ryan – Shore
Nurse – Ceci
Ekholm – Bouchard
Kulak – Broberg
Mattias Ekholm will make his Oilers debut. I think the D pairs would run like the forwards for the next few games as Dave Manson tries different combos in different situations. Evan Bouchard will take Tyson Barrie’s spot on the first unit power play. Barrie’s departure will give him more PP time, but also more 5×5 time and I think he will benefit. Offensive players need to feel the puck. The more they have the puck, the more opportunities they have to make plays.
Bouchard spoke today about how even completing a few more passes can boost your confidence. He will do that on the PP, and with more ice time, he could do it more at 5×5 as well. When he is feeling it he’s a very good passer. His current 39-game goal drought has impacted his confidence. He hasn’t scored since November 28th. He hasn’t had a drought like this since his first year in junior. It does impact a player, even though they don’t want it to. But the good news is, one shot can change his fortunes, and with more PP time will come more shooting chances.
I’m not sure Skinner will start. He didn’t take part in the optional this morning, while Jack Campbell took a brief 15-minute skate. My gut says Skinner, but that is just a hunch. Campbell and head coach Jay Woodcroft wouldn’t confirm who starts.

Maple Leafs…

Bunting – Matthews – Marner
Tavares – O’Reilly – Nylander
Kerfoot – Kampf – Jarnkrok
Aston-Reece – Acciari – Lafferty
Reilly – Holl
McCabe – Brodie
Giordano – Liljegren
Luke Schenn will arrive later today and won’t play, while Erik Gustafsson will meet them in Calgary. The Leafs have dominated the Oilers in their last four visits to Edmonton going 4-0 and outscoring them 18-2. Three of those games occurred in the 2021 North Division and the Leafs won all three over a five-day span by scores of 3-0, 4-0 and 6-1. They defeated the Oilers 5-1 last year.


Photoshop: Tom Kostiuk
GAME DAY PREDICTION: I expect another fast-paced game like we saw Monday v. Boston, but this time the Oilers win 5-4.
OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: McDavid scores his 51st goal of the season.
NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Mattias Janmark scores his first career goal v. Toronto.

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