Steven Stamkos scores 60th goal of season (Video)
It's one of the best, most impressive goal-scoring seasons we've ever seen in the NHL
During the Lightning's season-ending game in Winnipeg on Saturday night, Stamkos scored his 60th goal of the season, becoming the first player since 2007-08 (Alex Ovechkin) to score 60 goals in a season, and just the second player since the start of the 1996 season to reach that mark.
Here is what it looked like...
It's not just that he scored 60 goals that's impressive. It's that he did it in a league where the average NHL game features fewer than five-and-a-half goals per game. In a league only one other player (Evgeni Malkin) scored 50 goals this season. In a league only two others (Marian Gaborik and James Neal) scored even 40.
Just as a quick, and perhaps extreme comparison: Consider that when Wayne Gretzky scored 92 goals during the 1981-82 season, still an NHL record, and one that will likely never be broken, the NHL averaged over eight goals per game, 10 players scored at least 50 goals, and 22 scored at least 40.
With the way the game is played today, and with the increased skill level of goaltenders across the NHL, it's a level we simply don't see anymore. At least not very often. And when it does happen, it's pretty special.
It's also amazing that Stamkos did most of his damage this season without the luxury of scoring a ton of power play goals, scoring 48 of his 60 goals at even-strength, by far the most in the NHL. Nobody else scored more than 38, and only two scored more than 30.
His even strength total alone would have been enough to place him second overall in the NHL, and he's just the third player since the start of the 1997 season to score at least 40 even-strength goals in a single season. You have to go all the way back to the 1992-93 season (league average of 7.25 goals per game that year) to find a player with more even-strength goals in a single season.
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