Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Drive for 60

Steven Stamkos looks to become the first player since the 2007-08 (Alex Ovechkin) season and only the second player since the 1995-96 season to score 60 goals in an NHL season. Stamkos has 59 goals entering Saturday's match-up against the Winnipeg Jets. He only needs to net one goal and he will enter an elite club.

Steven Stamkos Autographed 11x14 Photo
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If you've read previous posts or navigated this blog, you know that I'm a huge Winnipeg Jets fan. While the thought of Stamkos achieving this milestone against the Jets, is a tough pill to swallow, I'm routing for the guy. So I'll be hoping that Stamkos nets one goal for the Tampa Bay Lightning and that it's the only goal for the club.

So how amazing an accomplishment is netting 60 goals? Right now Stamkos is the only player to score more than 50 goals this year. Evgeni Malkin, sits at 49 goals and could become the second player to reach the 50 goal mark on Saturday if he nets one against the Philadelphia Flyers. That's only two players to score 50 goals. It just doesn't happen to many players.

Since the 2005-2006 season, there was only one season (2007-2008) where three players scored 50 goals or more. In fact, since the 2007-2008 season, only one season had multiple players who scored 50 goals or more. The 50 goal challenges is hard enough. Scoring 60 goals is nearly impossible.
Stamkos was one of the players to have a 50 goal season, in the period mentioned above. He had 51 goals in the 2009-2010 season.

If Stamkos scores his 60th goal of the season, it will be a great way to end the 2010-2012 regular season. I wonder of the crazy crowd at the MTS Centre would take a moment out of their heckling of opposing players, to cheer for the achievement. I wouldn't bet on it.

While it would be a nice gesture for Jets fans to take off their Winnipeg Jets hats and put on their hockey fan hats, Winnipeg Jets fans have one objective and that's to be loyal to the home club. So Stamkos might have to celebrate with a smaller crowd; His teammates.

I usually dream of being with my fellow Jets fans at the MTS Centre, yelling and screaming in support of my favorite sports team. I'm not dreaming of that for Saturday's game. I rather cheer for the 60th goal in the safe confines of my home. That way, I won't have beer dropped on me.

One thing is certain. If Stamkos reaches his drive for 60, it will be a significant NHL achievement.

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