Monday, February 14, 2011

Drew Stafford's Hat Collection

Buffalo's Drew Stafford has two hat tricks in his last three games and four total in the last two months. His four tricks are in a period of 21 games played and over that span he has 18 goals.
Four hat tricks over a two month period is ridiculously good but far from un-precedented. A look at some of the great goal scoring seasons of the last 30 years shows what kind of company Stafford is currently keeping.

In 1992/93 Teemu Selanne registered four hat tricks from Dec. 11 to March 9, almost three months. Alex Mogilny did even better than the Finnish Flash that year with four hatties from Dec 9 to Jan. 2, a total of only ten games. Mogilny fired 19 goals over that ten game stretch on his way to tying Selanne with 76.

During 1991/92, Brett Hull tore off four hat tricks between Dec. 12 and Jan 16, just over one month and 18 games. He would notch 23 goals during this stretch. Mario Lemieux had four hats from Feb. 14/89 through March 30/89, six weeks and 20 games in which he had 23 goals.

During Gretzky's 92 goal year of 81/82 he amazingly had two different stretches where he had four hat tricks in a 16 game period. Ending with five goals in the 50 goals in 39 games match, The Great One had fired 26 goals in 16 games. Three weeks later he started another span with four hats in 16 games from Jan.20 through Feb. 24, this time collecting 20 goals.

So, as hot as Stafford has been, Gretzky, Hull and Mogilny have collected hat tricks at faster paces in the past. Of course, they played in eras where goals were much more frequent. If Stafford were to fire two more hatties over the next six games, he could truely stand alone among the greats...not likely but I wouldn't put it past him.

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