Originally written on Puck Drunk Love  |  Last updated 3/14/12

ANAHEIM, CA - NOVEMBER 19: Steven Stamkos #91 of the Tampa Bay Lightning looks on prior to the game against the Anaheim Ducks at the Honda Center on November 19, 2009 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Stick tap to our friends at Lightning Hockey Blog for the picture

Many years ago, when mastodons roamed the earth and the permafrost extended south to Tampa Bay, fifty goal scorers were as common as hot goalies in the playoffs. You could safely count on a few every year.

But since the dreaded neutral-zone trap prompted a thawing of the ice caps and a cessation of unchecked glacial expansion in North America, fifty goal scorers have joined polar bears as species endangered by the abrupt climate shift.

But last night, we saw hope that once more goals will come in abundance, that teams will value speed and shooting touch again, that our long National (Hockey League) nightmare is over and scoring sanity is coming back. Stevie Stamkos hit the nifty fifty again.

Below the fold, we’ll place Stamkos’ achievement in context

[Continue Reading]

While the neutral-zone trap didn’t cause the last ice age to end, it certainly slowed the pace of prolific scoring. Fifty goal seasons are not impossibilities. At least not yet. Stamkos himself had done this before two seasons ago and barely missed the mark last year when he potted 45 in a full 82 game season. But with Evgeni Malkin just a dozen goals shy of the half-century mark (with just 14 to go). In spite of my sarcasm (he’s really thisclose), he might actually make it. That would exceed last season’s single fifty goal scorer (Corey Perry) but not surpass the trio from the 2009-10 season (Stamkos, Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin)

But it’s a far cry from the mid to late eighties seasons when the nifty fifty was much more accessible. In 85-86 six players exceeded 50 with Jari Kurri pacing the league with 68. Three seasons later, Mario Lemieux led the league in scoring with 85 goals, and again another five players eclipsed the 50 goal mark.

The 10 seasons between 1980 and 1990 saw an average of 7.5 fifty goal scorers per season. The last ten full seasons saw an average of 2. This year’s tally may match that average or pull it down some. Regardless, scoring has been pulled down plenty. Which makes Stamkos’ pair of 50 goal seasons note worthy.

The Lords of the Boards over at NHL central would like you to believe that the note worthy aspect is the age of Stamkos. And credit where it’s due, when only six other players in history have done so. Also worthy of note is that three of those six did so during the high-flying eighties (and another in the equally fast-paced and high-scoring late seventies). Since the devilish trap (pun intended) was popularized only Ovechkin and Stamkos have joined the club. The other player in the group, Pavel Bure did so between the 1992-93 and 1993-94 seasons, just as the trap was implemented in Jersey by Jacques Lemaire

Of hope for lovers of goal scoring, the addition of Stamkos and Ovechkin have come since the league and the NHLPA have clamped down on obstruction following the 2004-05 season being wiped out by the lockout. We’re still a long way from another season where someone tallies 150 points, let alone comes close to Wayne Gretzky’s 212. But it’s getting better.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

RG3 to be held out 1-2 weeks after doctor changes mind

LA Kings offer Peter Budaj a professional tryout

Carlos Boozer hoping roster spot opens on playoff team

Starting EJ Manuel not a bad idea for Bills’ third preseason game

Tim Beckman fired by Illinois amid mistreatment allegations

Chip Kelly reveals thought process behind Bradford trade

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Charles Barkley on ex-agent: ‘I’d blow his damn brains out’

Bryce Harper doesn’t seem to care if Nationals make playoffs

Could the Spurs backups make playoffs in the east?

Josh Howard reportedly attempting NBA comeback

Reggie Wayne feels like a rookie with the Patriots

Eric Davis: Jim Harbaugh coddled 49ers off the field

Ballmer declines $60M/yr TV deal, could start streaming service

Nationals forced to re-issue massive bobblehead order

Jay Gruden would like the media to stop calling him fat

Spieth: Could new irons be reason for missed cut at Barclays?

The Opening Drive: Where have all the great UM tailbacks gone?

The 1980s Lakers represent the NBA’s ultimate creation story

The Orioles’ frustrating season

Andy Reid on calling perfect play: 'That’s like a good cheeseburger'

Five greatest NBA players of all-time

Finding signs of life for the Boston Red Sox

Jerry Rice: Adrian Peterson still number one pick in fantasy

Filling the MLB playoff picture: Royals rolling

10 NFL players set for down seasons in 2015

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The Opening Drive: What happened to all the great Michigan tailbacks?

The 1980s Lakers represent the NBA’s ultimate creation story

The Orioles’ frustrating season

Five greatest NBA players of all-time

Finding signs of life for the Red Sox

10 NFL players set for down seasons in 2015

Why NFL preseason games matter

August's winners and losers in sports

How the Chicago Cubs are swinging

Report: Barry Bonds loses collusion case

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker