Tag: milestones

Saku Koivu, Teemu Selanne

Jari Kurri’s in the “Don’t retire Teemu!” club; Selanne reaches 1,400 points

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PHT’s own Joe Yerdon has become known for spearheading the “#TeemuForever” campaign, but he’s far from the only person hoping that Teemu Selanne sticks around as long as possible. Fellow famous Finn Jari Kurri had a simple message that relayed to Jeff Miller of the OC Register: “Why stop now?”

“I’m hoping he keeps playing,” Kurri said. “Why stop? I know he wants to win. He wants to do well and he’s playing well. I don’t see any reason for him to stop.”

Selanne scored his 23rd goal of the season as the Anaheim Ducks currently hold a 3-0 lead against the Detroit Red Wings. That tally places him at a tidy 1,400 points, just nine shy of Dale Hawerchuk for 18th all-time. In fact, as PHT discussed earlier this week, Selanne is breathing down the necks of many greats – which would make another campaign that much more compelling.

Here are the players he’s within shouting distance of, points-wise:

14. Stan Mikita (1,467)
15. Bryan Trottier (1,425)
16. Adam Oates (1,420)
17. Doug Gilmour (1,414)
18. Dale Hawerchuk (1,409)
19. Selanne (1,400)
20. Kurri (1,398)

And from a goal-scoring standpoint:

7. Mark Messier – 694 goals
8. Steve Yzerman – 692
9. Mario Lemieux – 690
10. Luc Robitaille – 668
11. Jaromir Jagr – 664
12. Selanne – 660

Selanne could jump into the top 10 in goal-scoring (Jagr or not) and the top 15 in point scoring if he came back for one more year.

If thousands (if not millions) of fans aren’t enough to convince him, what about his idol?

(Hey, it’s worth a shot.)

Steven Stamkos becomes this season’s first 50-goal scorer

Ottawa Senators v Tampa Bay Lightning

Steven Stamkos isn’t even 23 years old yet, but he already has a huge contract, hilarious hockey hair and two 50+ goal seasons. (Erik Erlendsson points out the historical significance of the accomplishment: only six NHL players have hit the 50-goal plateau at least two times.)

The elite forward took advantage of a dual disaster for Boston Bruins goalies Marty Turco and Tim Thomas, collecting tallies 49 and 50 in a 6-1 romp.

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Stamkos seemed primed to go toe-to-toe with Sidney Crosby for the Maurice Richard Trophy last season, but things fell apart for both players. Crosby had injury issues while Stamkos fought lesser ailments and inconsistency to “settle” for 45 goals in 2010-11. The talented sniper’s career-high is 51, which he set in 09-10, just his second season in the NHL. Overall, Stamkos has 169 goals in just 312 career regular season games.

Corey Perry was the only player to cross the 50-goal barrier last season and it’s hard to fathom this season generating multiple 50-goal scorers either. Here’s a look at the rest of the top five:

Evgeni Malkin: 38 goals, 14 games left
Marian Gaborik: 34 goals, 13 games left
Corey Perry: 34 goals, 13 games left
Phil Kessel: 34 goals, 12 games left

I hate to be the guy to doubt that elite club of talented players, but it’s tough to imagine anyone else ending up with 50 goals or more this season.

Pessimists might point to that fact while worrying about league-wide scoring, yet that only shines a brighter light on Stamkos’ all-world (and downright historic) sniping skills.

Teemu Selanne passes Jari Kurri for 19th all-time in points

Anaheim Ducks v Los Angeles Kings
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Teemu Selanne’s 22nd goal of 2011-12 did more than just salvage a point for the Anaheim Ducks tonight (the Colorado Avalanche just won 3-2 in thanks to Gabriel Landeskog’s OT tally). It also gave him the 1,399th point of his historic career, placing him alone at 19th place in front of his fellow countryman and idol Jari Kurri.

Kurri released the following statement (via the Ducks PR team):

“I couldn’t be more proud that Teemu is the all-time top NHL scorer from Finland,” Kurri said. “Congratulations to a great player, a great friend and an even better person.”

Fans of Finns can have some fun debates, especially if you’re not the type that looks at mere totals alone. Let me fuel the fire quickly with a few bullet points:

  • Kurri earned his 1,398 points in 1,251 games while Selanne needed 1,328 for 1,399.
  • On the other hand, Kurri was boosted by a) playing his prime years in the high-flying 1980’s and b) spending most of those seasons with some schlub name Wayne Gretzky. (Selanne’s had some great teammates, perhaps most notably prime-era Paul Kariya, but there’s only one Wayne Gretzky.)
  • Kurri has four Stanley Cups to his name; Selanne has one.
  • Kurri was named to eight All-Star games and was probably noted for being more versatile while Selanne has made an impressive 10 All-Star teams.

Tough argument, but a fun one, eh?

Here’s the latest milestone moment:

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Anyway, with 12 games left in Anaheim’s season, Selanne is within reasonable distance of the following greats (note: I took some license with this in hopes of digitally enticing Selanne to come back for another season*).

15. Bryan Trottier (1,425)
16. Adam Oates (1,420)
17. Doug Gilmour (1,414)
18. Dale Hawerchuk (1,409)
19. Selanne (1,399)
20. Kurri (1,398)
21. Luc Robitaille (1,394)
22. Brett Hull (1,391)

Selanne also needs nine goals to tie Lucky Luc with 668 goals while he would need another season to go further than that. Jaromir Jagr will also go toe-to-toe with him in the all-time goal scoring ranks as he currently has five more (664).

The Ducks’ loss to the Avalanche only made their paper-thin playoffs flimsier, but you can’t blame Selanne – you can only hope that he indulges us with one more year.

Oh, and if tonight wasn’t full of enough Finnish goodness, Selanne’s pal and countryman Saku Koivu reached the 1,000 games played mark. Not bad for a guy who fought off cancer, eh?

* Let me make another plea: Please please please please?

Is that not good enough? Stan Mikita would be in reach at 14th place with 1,467 points. Just saying …

Jaromir Jagr stands alone at eighth place all-time in NHL scoring

Philadelphia Flyers v Pittsburgh Penguins

When you summarize Jaromir Jagr’s career, Mario Lemieux’s name naturally comes up pretty early on. Now Jagr is right underneath his legendary former teammate in the NHL’s all-time points scoring ranks after producing two points (one goal, one assist) in the Philadelphia Flyers’ 6-3 win against the New York Islanders tonight.

Check out where Jagr ranks on the list of all-time points scorers now:

6. Steve Yzerman – 1,755 points
7. Lemieux – 1,723
8. Jagr – 1,643
9. Joe Sakic – 1,641
10. Phil Esposito – 1,590

For you non-math majors out there, Jagr would need 80 points to tie Lemieux for seventh all-time. The future Hall of Famer has expressed interest in playing at least another season, so that could be an awfully interesting story to watch.

Jagr added a little suspense after tying Sakic on Feb. 21, as he was unable to separate himself in three pointless games. He now has 44 points in 54 games so far this season, which exceeds almost any prediction for his production as he entered the season at 39 years old. (He turned 40 this season.)

Jaromir Jagr is also climbing the ranks – and breathing down the necks of Lemieux and Yzerman – in terms of career goals scored. Another interesting thing to watch will be his close race with the Finnish Flash for active goal-scorers by the time this season is over.

7. Mark Messier – 694 goals
8. Yzerman – 692
9. Lemieux – 690
10. Luc Robitaille – 668
11. Jagr – 663
12. Selanne – 658

No doubt about it, Jagr is really adding to his legacy this season. Yet much like Selanne, his magic hasn’t been relegated to the past alone.

(It kinda makes you wonder where he’d be if he didn’t spend three years in the KHL, though, doesn’t it?)

James van Riemsdyk breaks foot blocking shot

James van Riemsdyk, Henrik Lundqvist

Avoiding being traded has been about the only “break” that Philadelphia Flyers winger James van Riemsdyk received so far this season – at least in a figurative sense.

Injuries have been one of the 22-year-old forward’s biggest issues already, but now he has another hurdle to clear. Van Riemsdyk broke his left foot while blocking a shot in tonight’s game against the New York Islanders and (obviously) won’t return to action.

Update: Frank Seravalli passes along a report that the initial timetable is six to eight weeks, but that’s not official.

JVR’s production has been disappointing so far in 2011-12, but the Flyers might miss him if he cannot get healthy by the playoffs in April. That’s the time when he made his money last year, after all.

It’s not all bad news for the Flyers franchise tonight, however, as Jaromir Jagr collected a goal and assist already to stand alone in eighth place all-time among NHL points scorers. More on that once it’s determined how far he’ll finish the night ahead of now-ninth place legend Joe Sakic.