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Sam Gagner produces first eight-point game in 23 years

Feb 3, 2012, 2:32 AM EDT

For one night, Sam Gagner wasn’t the disappointing young Edmonton Oilers forward in a sea of flourishing ones. Instead, Gagner stunned the Chicago Blackhawks with a four-goal, four assist performance, matching Oilers legends Wayne Gretzky and Paul Coffey with eight points in a single game (a franchise record).

Check out highlights from that 8-4 win in which No. 89 looked an awful lot like No. 99:

“I think this is the only situation I can ever have my name mentioned in their breath,” Gagner told the NHL Network following the game. “It’s really an honor to have a night like this and be mentioned in that class, even if it’s only for tonight.”

Gagner is just the 11th player in NHL history to accomplish this task and the first in 23 years. (He joins Mario Lemieux as the only player whose eight points figured into all of his team’s goals, by the way.)

Be honest, if you were to name Oilers forwards who would have pulled this off, where would Gagner rank? With those eight points, Gagner now has nine goals and 21 assists for 30 points on the season; that means he almost doubled his season goals total in a single game.

These are the kinds of results that the Oilers envisioned when they made him the sixth overall pick of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. His career-high of 49 points came in 2007-08, but one cannot wonder if this might be a breakthrough moment.

Naturally, many of you must wonder where Gagner’s performance ranks among the all-time greatest single-game outputs. Here’s a handy chart of the players who’ve recorded at least eight points in one contest:

Name Team Date Points
Darryl Sittler Toronto Maple Leafs 7-Feb-76 10
Maurice Richard Montreal Canadiens 28-Dec-44 8
Bert Olmstead Montreal Canadiens 1-Jan-54 8
Tom Bladon Philadelphia Flyers 11-Dec-77 8
Bryan Trottier New York Islanders 23-Dec-78 8
Anton and Peter Stastny Quebec Nordiques 22-Feb-81 8
Wayne Gretzky Edmonton Oilers 19-Nov-83 8
Wayne Gretzky Edmonton Oilers 4-Jan-84 8
Paul Coffey Edmonton Oilers 14-Mar-86 8
Patrik Sundstrom New Jersey Devils 22-Apr-88 8
Mario Lemieux Pittsburgh Penguins 15-Oct-88 8
Bernie Nicholls Los Angeles Kings 1-Dec-88 8
Mario Lemieux Pittsburgh Penguins 31-Dec-88 8
Mario Lemieux Pittsburgh Penguins 25-Apr-89 8
Sam Gagner Edmonton Oilers 2-Feb-12 8

(Editor’s note: The 1980′s were ridiculous, particularly Mario Lemieux from 88-89.)

So here’s the takeaway: Gagner reached the same one-game peak as Gretzky, Lemieux, Maurice Richard and Coffey. Yes, that’s amazing and totally unexpected.

  1. merchaholic - Feb 3, 2012 at 3:24 AM

    Damn, good for him.

  2. taytay099 - Feb 3, 2012 at 4:35 AM

    Pretty incredible. Never would have thought he was capable of doing that.

  3. florida727 - Feb 3, 2012 at 8:24 AM

    Geez. Gretzky did it TWICE (in less than two months!) and Mario THREE times(all of them within SIX MONTHS!!!)? Man, this kid just joined some elite company for single-game performances. And against the Blackhawks? Wow…

    Sittler had TEN points in a game? When you look at records like DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak and VanderMeer’s back-to-back no-hitters, Sittler’s record might be one of those that ranks as “most likely never to be broken”.

    • bcjim - Feb 3, 2012 at 8:54 AM

      Sittler also had 6(!) goals in a *different game* the same year.

  4. AppealToReason - Feb 3, 2012 at 10:19 AM

    Gagner wasn’t even born the last time this was done.

  5. jpelle82 - Feb 3, 2012 at 10:38 AM

    this is great

  6. lostpuppysyndrome - Feb 3, 2012 at 11:07 AM

    It’s also noteworthy to think that there was a relative flood of 8pt games in the 80s and then that river just went and dried up for 23 years. Sure, Gretz got traded but Lemieux never went anywhere else.

  7. bcisleman - Feb 3, 2012 at 1:02 PM

    What gets lost in all the hoopla about Gagne–and congrats to him naturally–is how dreadful Crawford looked on a lot of those goals. Methinks CHI will have to make a move in net prior to the playoffs.

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