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Steven Stamkos on the verge of joining elite company

Mar 9, 2012, 12:04 PM EDT

Steven Stamkos Getty Images

From NHL.com columnist John Kreiser comes this tidbit:

Stamkos is two goals away from becoming the NHL’s first 50-goal scorer this season. When he does, he’ll join an elite group of six players who’ve had multiple 50-goal seasons before their 23rd birthday (he turned 22 on Feb. 7).

Wayne Gretzky did it four times; Mike Bossy, Mario Lemieux, Joe Nieuwendyk and Alex Ovechkin each had two seasons with at least 50 goals before turning 23.

As that excerpt suggests, Stamkos is having a pretty solid year. His 48 goals have put him 10 clear of the NHL’s second-leading sniper, Evgeni Malkin, and re-ignited Hart Trophy discussions that were long thought to be done.

Some other notes about Stamkos’ scoring spree:

– That 10-goal cushion atop the Rocket Richard Trophy race is huge. In 2011-11 Corey Perry (50) beat Stamkos (45) by five goals; in 2009-10 Stamkos and Sidney Crosby tied with 51 goals while Alex Ovechkin finished with 50…you have to go all the way back to 2008-09 for a similar disparity between No. 1 and No. 2. That year, Ovechkin led the NHL with 56 goals while Jeff Carter finished second, with 46.

– Another tidbit from the NHL.com piece: Stamkos’ 144 goals are the most by any player since the start of 2009-10. Perry is next with 111, two more than Ovechkin.

– Should Stamkos get to 50 this year, it’ll be the second 50-goal campaign of his career. That’ll make him just one of seven active NHLers with multiple 50-goal seasons, joining Jaromir Jagr, Teemu Selanne, Jarome Iginla, Ilya Kovalchuk, Dany Heatley and Ovechkin.

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  1. sunking1 - Mar 9, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    Stamkos is awesome!

  2. gotampabay52 - Mar 9, 2012 at 1:10 PM

    He is the best and he takes pucks off the face in the playoffs and scores 50 plus he will have a statue someday next epspito

  3. danphipps01 - Mar 9, 2012 at 1:10 PM

    I’m seriously thinking he’s outbid Malkin for the Hart at this point – goals tend to speak louder than assists with the judges typically, and the real key factor is that Tampa *sucks out loud*. Pittsburgh’s a solid contender year-in, year-out, and Malkin’s got quality teammates in every position. Stamkos has some good guys around him, but overall, his team’s a long, long shot to make the playoffs and really lacks the depth and quality of a true contender. He’s going almost on his own. Malkin’s successes aren’t as significant with the top-quality guys he’s got around him.

  4. jpelle82 - Mar 9, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    malkin has neal. stamkos has ST LOUIS! big difference. malkin makes neal better, st louis makes stamkos better. neal hit the 30 goal mark for the first time, got an allstar game…because of malkin. st louis has scored 30 goals 6 times, 6 allstar games, hart, ross, pearson, stanley cup most of which before stamkos even came along. malkin means more to his team especially since crosby has been out the last 2 years, he is the reason they have been contenders, remember who went deeper into playoffs last year? st louis missed parts of december and stamkos put up 3 games with 0 pts with him gone. no contest.

    • jpelle82 - Mar 9, 2012 at 2:48 PM

      just so you know, i like stamkos and think he is good for hockey, i love any guy who can put up 50 goals with class like him. i just dont think he is Hart ready.

      • danphipps01 - Mar 9, 2012 at 3:05 PM

        Hmmm. Good point. Malkin’s giving more to the other guys around him, Stamkos is feeding more off of the guys around him. You’re right, that definitely plays into things.

  5. davebabychreturns - Mar 9, 2012 at 2:02 PM

    Stamkos probably doesn’t have a shot at the Hart unless the Bolts can pass three Eastern Conference teams and get into 8th, or three Southeast teams and win the division.

    Look at the list of Hart Trophy winners, I don’t see one in the expansion era that (off the top of my head) played for a non-Playoff team. Closest I see recently is Jaromir Jagr who won the scoring race by 20 points in 98-99, the Pens finished 8th in the East that year.

  6. nothanksimdriving123 - Mar 9, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    For whatever it might be worth: It will be nice for Stamkos if he gets 50 goals and another Rocket award. This season is the 30th anniversary of Gretzky setting the record of 92. For you young folks, that’s 92 goals in one season. In the last 15 seasons, including this one, only Ovechkin has come within 30 of that record. I’m going way out on a limb here and predicting 99’s record will last at least a few more years. And the NHL game will have to change somewhat for anyone to break it, such as bigger rinks, or a salary cap of $10,000 a year for goalies (or much smaller equipment).

  7. lsxphotog - Mar 9, 2012 at 3:30 PM

    The kid’s awesome.

  8. taytay099 - Mar 9, 2012 at 7:45 PM

    If Tampa doesn’t make the playoffs then it won’t matter how many goals he scores, he won’t win the Hart. MVP goes to a player who leads their team to success and so far Tampa hasn’t found much of that this year.

    Still pretty impressive that he can score so many goals in what many are considering a dead puck era.

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