Sixty-five targets is simply an unbelievable quantity.

When Alex Ovechkin did it 14 years in the past, it felt like he was a Martian, somebody who crash landed within the NHL from one other hockey-playing planet. In 2007-08, we have been nonetheless popping out of the Dead Puck Era, when 50 targets was a herculean process. Fifty targets typically received you a Hart Trophy.

In that darkish decade of low-scoring seasons, solely Pavel Bure got here near 60, together with his back-to-back 58- and 59-goal years with the Panthers standing because the highwater mark of that period.

So, who scores 65? While piling up 5 pictures a sport and enjoying that brash, bodily model, at 6-foot-3 and 240 kilos?

That 12 months, Ovechkin grew to become the primary participant to crack the 60-goal mark since Mario Lemieux in 1995-96 — and he blew proper previous it. It was solely the twenty fourth time 65 had ever occurred in league historical past, and the primary since scoring had shriveled to underneath six targets per sport for a sustained stretch of time.

In addition to Ovechkin and Lemieux, solely 10 different gamers have ever had 65 targets: Mike Bossy, Phil Esposito, Wayne Gretzky, Brett Hull, Jari Kurri, Lanny McDonald, Alexander Mogilny, Bernie Nichols, Teemu Selanne and Steve Yzerman.

With seven targets within the last 9 video games of the Maple Leafs season, Auston Matthews can turn out to be the thirteenth participant to make that listing — and solely the second within the final quarter-century of hockey.

Even if he falls brief, it feels possible he’ll get there within the coming years.



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