Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Phil Kessel's Hot Start

Thanks to Leaf play-by-play man Joe Bowen, last night I learned that Phil Kessel is only the third Maple Leaf in history to score 5 goals in the first 3 games of the season. In game 4 he added a 6th goal to tie a Leaf record to start a season. The two players that previously scored 5 in the first 3 were Darryl Sittler and Wendel Clark (twice).

Darryl Sittler 1978
Game 1: 2G
Game 2: 3G-4A
Game 3: 0
Game 4: 1G-1A

On the strength of a 7 point game, Sittler had 6 goals and 5 assists through the first 4 games in 1978/79. He would slow down to 1 goal and 2 assists over the next 6 games finishing October 1978 with a scoring line of: 10-7-7-14.

Wendel Clark 1986
Game 1: 1G
Game 2: 4G
Game 3: 0
Game 4: 0

After 5 tallies in his first two matches. Clark notched 2 goals, 2 assists in his next 6. His October scoring ended up: 9-7-2-9

Wendel Clark 1991
Game 1: 2G-1A
Game 2: 3G-2A
Game 3: 1A

Clark had a Gretzky-esque start to 1991/92 with 6 goals and 9 points in the first three games. Unfortunately for he and the Leafs, in the third game he tore his left MCL in collision with Rich Sutter of St.Louis. He would be out for the next 10 games, came back for three then re-injured the knee putting him on the shelf until January.

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