Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Goals per Game in Playoffs

Crosby and Ovechkin hat-tricks in the same game, impressive. Sure it was only the fourth time in playoff history that two guys have done it in the same game. The fact I find additionally impressive is that Crosby now has 8 goals in 8 playoff games this year, and Ovechkin is not far behind with 7 in his last 6 games and 9 games in total. How rare is it to average a goal per game in the NHL playoffs? It has not been done since 1992, and only by sixteen players since 1919. It was only done three times in the high flying 1980’s and never by Gretzky. Seeing as Crosby is up to 8 goals, I set that as the minimum number to be included in the chart below.Mario Lemieux most likely would have broken the record of 19 playoff goals if he hadn’t missed five games in 1992 due to injury. Jean Beliveau has the highest GPG (minimum 10 games) in modern history at 1.20. Only four players have averaged a goal per game while playing in more than twelve playoff games, Lemieux, Jari Kurri in 1985, Mark Messier in 1983 and Reggie Leach in 1976. Crosby and Ovechkin have a shot at joining this elite group and perhaps challenge the all-time record of 19.

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