This season, Steven Stamkos became just the seventh NHL player to have two 50-goal seasons before his 23rd birthday, putting himself in elite company that includes Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Mike Bossy, Pavel Bure and Alex Ovechkin.
On Saturday night, in the final game of the Tampa Bay Lightning's season, he accomplished something else those players and just 14 others have in the NHL: Scoring 60 goals in a season, with this third-period goal at the Winnipeg Jets, from Marty St. Louis and Brian Lee at 3:29:
A few notes about Stamkos at 60:
• Only 12 of his 60 goals came on the power play. When Ovechkin scored 65 in 2007-08 — the last NHL player to hit 60 — he had 22 power-play goals.
• He's one of only four active players with a 60-goal season, along with Ovechkin (65, 2007-08); Jaromir Jagr (62, 1995-96); and Teemu Selanne (76, 1992-93).
• According to ESPN, Stamkos is "the first player from one of the nine franchises that have entered the league since 1991 to score 60 goals in a season."
• His 97 points on the season are the second-lowest total for a 60-goal scorer. Only Reggie Leach of the 1975-76 Philadelphia Flyers had fewer (91).
• According to the Lightning, the last player to score 60 goals in a season and not make the playoffs was Steve Yzerman (a.k.a. Tampa Bay GM) of the 1988-89 Detroit Red Wings.
All of this is fine and dandy … but as Stamkos told Lightning Strikes, he'd trade it all for a championship:
"The gold standard is a Stanley Cup championship. That's what you work hard to win. There are so many people who have played this game for so long and never gotten a chance. Obviously, you want to take that opportunity and cherish it, take nothing for granted. My goal is to win a championship. I haven't done that yet, and I'll keep working hard towards that."
Wonder how many Hart Trophy votes he'll receive …
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- Tampa Bay Lightning
- Alex Ovechkin
- Steven Stamkos
- Wayne Gretzky
- Mario Lemieux