Monday, June 23, 2008

Something to look forward to?

From's "Ten tough things" (about the toughest things to do in sports):

Score 80 goals in an NHL season

Last to do it: Brett Hull (88), St. Louis Blues, 1990-91
Why it's so hard
: "The goalies are way better - that's the biggest reason why it doesn't happen anymore," says Steve Yzerman, the legendary former captain and current vice president of the Detroit Red Wings, who scored his career-high 65 in 1988-89, the same season that Mario Lemieux of the Pittsburgh Penguins lit the lamp 85 times. (Wayne Gretzky -- 87, 92 -- is the only other member of the 80-plus club.) "You don't get as many easy ones like you used to coming down the wing, slap shots going right through the goalie's legs. But yeah, I do [think we'll see it happen again.] It may not be next year, but if you look at forwards' ice time now, these guys are playing 24, 25 minutes (per game) because teams simply aren't going to have the depth (due to the salary cap). For a while, these guys were at 17 to 20. What did Alex Ovechkin score this year [66 goals]? With a couple more years under [Capitals teammate] Mike Green's belt, Nicklas Backstrom's belt, Alexander Semin's, I think [Ovechkin] might get there. I don't know about 80, but you'll get into the 70s again for sure in the next three or four years. Those [Washington] guys are going to be tremendous."
-- as told to Michael Farber

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