Tag: eight-point night

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Sam Gagner’s dad hopes special night will “catapult him to higher levels”


One of the things that made Sam Gagner’s eight-point night so special was that it was so unexpected.

Considering the fact that Gagner has the pedigree of being an early first-round pick, some might wonder if this could be the jolt he needs to go from a 40-ish point scorer to an impact player. The Canadian Press’ Chris Johnston caught up with one person thinking along those lines: Gagner’s father Dave.

“I think he’s kind of getting to that point where he’s very comfortable with who he is,” Dave Gagner said. “You know, I think he’s able to express himself a little bit more now. Hopefully this will catapult him to higher levels now.”

Dave Gagner believes that his son is growing and learning that he must focus on the small details in a league where there are plenty of players at his skill level (or better).

“You find out it’s a really difficult league to do well in on a nightly basis because everybody’s good and everybody’s prepared,” Dave Gagner said. “You’re not really fooling anybody so you have to be just that much sharper in all the things that go into your preparation.”

“I think Sam’s really understanding that now. He understands it’s a very fine line between success and failure.”

Perhaps realizing that he can accomplish something like this will push Sam Gagner that much closer to the “success” side.

Sam Gagner produces first eight-point game in 23 years

Blackhawks Oilers Hockey

For one night, Sam Gagner wasn’t the disappointing young Edmonton Oilers forward in a sea of flourishing ones. Instead, Gagner stunned the Chicago Blackhawks with a four-goal, four assist performance, matching Oilers legends Wayne Gretzky and Paul Coffey with eight points in a single game (a franchise record).

Check out highlights from that 8-4 win in which No. 89 looked an awful lot like No. 99:

“I think this is the only situation I can ever have my name mentioned in their breath,” Gagner told the NHL Network following the game. “It’s really an honor to have a night like this and be mentioned in that class, even if it’s only for tonight.”

Gagner is just the 11th player in NHL history to accomplish this task and the first in 23 years. (He joins Mario Lemieux as the only player whose eight points figured into all of his team’s goals, by the way.)

Be honest, if you were to name Oilers forwards who would have pulled this off, where would Gagner rank? With those eight points, Gagner now has nine goals and 21 assists for 30 points on the season; that means he almost doubled his season goals total in a single game.

These are the kinds of results that the Oilers envisioned when they made him the sixth overall pick of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. His career-high of 49 points came in 2007-08, but one cannot wonder if this might be a breakthrough moment.

Naturally, many of you must wonder where Gagner’s performance ranks among the all-time greatest single-game outputs. Here’s a handy chart of the players who’ve recorded at least eight points in one contest:

Name Team Date Points
Darryl Sittler Toronto Maple Leafs 7-Feb-76 10
Maurice Richard Montreal Canadiens 28-Dec-44 8
Bert Olmstead Montreal Canadiens 1-Jan-54 8
Tom Bladon Philadelphia Flyers 11-Dec-77 8
Bryan Trottier New York Islanders 23-Dec-78 8
Anton and Peter Stastny Quebec Nordiques 22-Feb-81 8
Wayne Gretzky Edmonton Oilers 19-Nov-83 8
Wayne Gretzky Edmonton Oilers 4-Jan-84 8
Paul Coffey Edmonton Oilers 14-Mar-86 8
Patrik Sundstrom New Jersey Devils 22-Apr-88 8
Mario Lemieux Pittsburgh Penguins 15-Oct-88 8
Bernie Nicholls Los Angeles Kings 1-Dec-88 8
Mario Lemieux Pittsburgh Penguins 31-Dec-88 8
Mario Lemieux Pittsburgh Penguins 25-Apr-89 8
Sam Gagner Edmonton Oilers 2-Feb-12 8

(Editor’s note: The 1980’s were ridiculous, particularly Mario Lemieux from 88-89.)

So here’s the takeaway: Gagner reached the same one-game peak as Gretzky, Lemieux, Maurice Richard and Coffey. Yes, that’s amazing and totally unexpected.