Apr 3, 2012, 1:10 PM EST
As you all know, Tampa Bay forward Steven Stamkos has 58 goals through 79 games this year. Should he score two over his final three, he’ll become just the 39th player in NHL history to pot 60 in a single season.
But you probably knew that, too.
If you did, here are five things you might not know about Stamkos’ wild and crazy season:
1. He has 46 even-strength goals.
That’s the most since 1992-93, when Teemu Selanne (52), Alex Mogilny (49) and Mario Lemieux (47) all reached that mark. Since the lockout, only Alex Ovechkin (43 in 2007-08) has come close to that total.
2. He had a decent March.
On Mar. 31, Stamkos scored his fifth overtime goal of the season against the Jets, setting an NHL single-season record in the process. That goal put him at 12 for the month (in 15 games), matching his career high for goals in a calendar month, first set in Nov. 2010.
3. He’s young.
At 22, Stamkos could join some elite company if he gets to 60 goals. Only Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Teemu Selanne, Mike Bossy, Alex Ovechkin and Pavel Bure scored that many at the age off 22 or younger (to be specific, Gretzky was the only younger one — he scored 92 goals at the age of 21.)
4. He’s earned his goals.
Only two have been scored into an empty net. That’s in sharp contrast to Ottawa’s leading scorer, Milan Michalek, who has scored five of his 35 into a yawning cage (14 percent!)
5. He’s better than many former Lightning goalscorers.
Things started brightly for the organization — in its first year of existence (1992-93), Brian Bradley scored 42 goals.
Then things got ugly.
The next leading goalscorers, in chronological order, were Petr Klima (28), Klima again (13, during work-stoppage season), Alex Selivanov (31), Dino Ciccarelli (35)…then things bottomed-out entirely in 1997-98 when Selivanov and Mikael Renberg tied for the team lead with 16 goals.
Prior to this season, the Lightning’s single-season goals record was 52, set in 2006-07 by Vincent Lecavalier.
Other guys that once led the Lightning in scoring? Wendel Clark, Fredrik Modin, Dave Andreychuk and Martin St. Louis.
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