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Can Stamkos score 50 in 48?

Feb 5, 2013, 2:17 PM EDT

Boston Bruins v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game Six Getty Images

Last year, Steven Stamkos became just the second player in 16 years to score 60 goals in a season.

This year, he already has seven goals through eight games and, as a result, has hockey fans buzzing about the possibility of 50 in 48.

“Yeah, it’s been brought up on Twitter every day,” Stamkos told the Tampa Tribune. “It’s obviously flattering, that people think that. I’m more of a realist. But you’ve got to set the bar high.

“I want to score every game, obviously. It’s something I know is probably not going to happen.”

At his current pace, Stamkos is projected to finish with 42 goals, which would be a wildly impressive total considering Peter Bondra captured the last 48-game season scoring race with 34 tallies.

The reason Stamkos’ run at 50 is getting so much buzz is twofold. One, he’s the NHL’s premier sniper — he finished first in goals last year and second in 2010-11.

Two, the “50 in 50” plateau has long been one of the league’s most illustrious marks.

It was first achieved by Maurice Richard during the 1944-45 season, then duplicated nearly 40 years later when Islanders forward Mike Bossy scored 50 in 50 during the 1980-81 campaign.

After Bossy, the mark started to fall like dominoes.

Wayne Gretzky scored 50 goals in 39 games (1981-82), 42 games (1983-34) and 49 games (1984-85), with 50 in 39 regarded as one of the most impressive feats in league history.

Mario Lemieux got in on the action during the 1988-89 season (50 in 46), followed by two years of Brett Hull’s sniping (50 in 49 during the 1990-91 season, 50 in 50 during 1991-92).

And then there are the unofficial 50 in 50 guys:

— Jari Kurri scored 50 in 50 games of the 1984-85 season, but it was Edmonton’s 53rd game of the year.

— Alex Mogilny scored 50 in 46 games in 1992-93, but it was Buffalo’s 53rd game. (Mogilny went on to score 76 in 77 that year.)

— Lemieux had two unofficial 50 in 50 seasons: 1992-93 (50 in 48, Pittsburgh’s 72nd game) and 1995-96 (50 in 50, Pittsburgh’s 59th.)

– Cam Neely scored 50 in 44 for Boston during the 1993-94 season, but it came in his team’s 66th game.

Stamkos said he’s honored to be mentioned in such company.

“For them to think that is obviously the ultimate compliment,” he explained. “To think I’m capable of that, that they expect that from me.”

  1. misterchainbluelightning - Feb 5, 2013 at 2:36 PM

    Yes, but I’m not betting on it unless I get some favourable odds.

    • isithockeyseasonyet - Feb 5, 2013 at 2:49 PM

      I agree, I can totally see him doing it but there’s too much that can go wrong in such a condensed season, he misses 2-3 games and that could be enough right there to cut him short, would be happy for him if he does tho, one of the truly good guys in sports.

      -flyers fan

  2. 19to77 - Feb 5, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    Can Vanek? Can Marleau?

    • hockeywithdrawal - Feb 5, 2013 at 3:19 PM

      Nope, and…newp.

      Just kidding – point taken, Stamkos isn’t even leading to the scoring race to date.

    • misterchainbluelightning - Feb 5, 2013 at 4:00 PM

      No and no, and I’m not taking any points. Stamkos is talented enough for the discussion and Vanek and Marleau are not.

      • 19to77 - Feb 5, 2013 at 7:08 PM

        I don’t know. Stamkos got sixty in a full season, but I wouldn’t say there’s any proof yet that he’s capable of anything as spectacularly difficult as 50 in 50. Sixty is insanely high in the modern NHL, but what we’re talking about is a higher level still.

  3. gotampabay52 - Feb 5, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    #89 is going to take some goals away from #91 but win the cup who cares how many goals you score

  4. spavs412 - Feb 5, 2013 at 2:54 PM

    He is great to watch that’s for sure! Great for the NHL and a market in fla! Much respect to him and this is a pgh fan born and raised!

  5. sjsblitz - Feb 5, 2013 at 3:00 PM

    Where you at Malkin?!!!

    • hockeywithdrawal - Feb 5, 2013 at 3:21 PM

      He’s over there dusting off his MVP trophies….

      Stamkos is a bull, no doubt. Hopefully TBL is proactive in refilling any roster sports that may need refilled in the near future in order to keep the kid going.

      • lsxphotog - Feb 5, 2013 at 5:21 PM

        Tampa is inked up until the 2015-16 seasons on the top two lines. Conacher will probably stay as the line 2 counterpart to Vinny since that line has combined for 32 points, with the first line at 35 points…pretty nasty first two!

  6. lsxphotog - Feb 5, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    Can he? Yes. Will he? No. I too am a realist. That being said, I think an 80 or 90 point season is ahead of him. He has gotten better each season and has found more ways to score. He’s kind of a freak and I love that the NHL still talk about Malkin and Crosby more when this guy is more consistent on a nightly basis and takes pucks to the face. Gotta love Stamkos!

    • isithockeyseasonyet - Feb 5, 2013 at 4:12 PM

      Has a lot to do w the market he plays in unfortunately, but I agree fully with what you’re saying

  7. leeeroooyjeeenkiiins - Feb 5, 2013 at 4:13 PM

    Theoretically, sure. He has the talent to possibly pull it off. But it’s highly unlikely. For one thing, his line mates are definitely going to steal some goals from him. And to add on to that, Stamkos is becoming a much more complete player. A couple of seasons ago he was almost exclusively a goal scorer, but he is evolving his game to be a better assist man and is also improving defensively as well. He’ll still score plenty of goals, but not as many as he could if he was still looking for just goals and not much else.

  8. kitshky - Feb 5, 2013 at 4:54 PM


    Any record that requires that kind of consistency just involves too many things falling into place that are beyond the players control.

    Be pretty sick tho.

  9. themagicfanguy - Feb 5, 2013 at 6:55 PM

    While it would be awesome for Stamkos to hit 50, my guess is he won’t. His mates are going to take some goals from him. GO BOLTS!!

  10. Woody Bass - Feb 5, 2013 at 7:23 PM

    Reblogged this on Woody Bass.

  11. wenzel0232 - Feb 5, 2013 at 7:41 PM

    Eric Staal also has 7 after 8…

  12. muttbolts - Feb 5, 2013 at 8:33 PM

    Why is this a topic right now.

  13. mclovinhockey - Feb 5, 2013 at 10:53 PM

    Sure would help my fantasy team

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