Will the NHL have a 50-goal scorer this season?

In the NHL, a player scoring 50 goals in a single season might be one of the greatest individual feats a player can accomplish, something that potentially elevates players from offensive-threat to superstar status. Throughout the NHL’s illustrious history, this feat has been accomplished 185 times by 87 players. However, for the first time since the 2003-04 season, and for the first since the lockout, the threat of not having a single 50-goal scorer is imminent.

Corey Perry (pictured) of the Anaheim Ducks and Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning are closest to attaining the feat as Perry has 46 goals and Stamkos trails with 44 while Tampa Bay has six games remaining to Anaheim’s five. While it’s an outside shot, both players have the skill to average six goals over their remaining games to attain 50 on the season. Daniel Sedin currently ranks third in goals scored with 40, which is a personal best for the Vancouver forward, but is unlikely to make a push for 50 this year.

Stamkos finds himself in familiar territory this year after netting 51 goals last year in his sophomore season. Talks early this season suggested that Stamkos could score 50 goals in 50 games with the pace he was on, but the pace didn’t hold. Still, Stamkos has become one of the league’s most potent goal scorers joining the likes of Ilya Kovalchuck, Alexander Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby. With 88 points, Stamkos also has a real shot at his second consecutive 90-point season.

At 25-years-old, Corey Perry is a surprise at the top of the goals leader board this year. While he already has two 70-point seasons under his belt, Perry has already shattered his personal best of 32 goals from 2008-09 and could achieve the first 90-point season of his career. Perry remains a triple threat as a player capable of scoring, making plays and someone who doesn’t shy away from a fight or time spent in the penalty box. Perhaps more importantly, Perry has emerged as a leader and a superstar on the ice for the Ducks and will remain an essential part of the organization for years to come. His incredible play this season, especially when Ryan Getzlaf went down due to injuries, is a big reason why the Ducks are in the playoff hunt.

Notably absent from this year’s goal scoring leaders are Alexander Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby. Ovechkin has struggled this season and is on pace for the lowest output of his career in terms of both goals and total points. Ovechkin has scored 40 or more goals in each of his five NHL seasons and has cracked the 50-goal mark four times. This year he will barely reach 30.

Crosby, however, only played in 41 games before going down with a concussion in early January. Despite playing in nearly half the games as the rest of the league, he still ranks 10th in the league in goals with 32 and 20th in the league in total points scored with 66. While Crosby certainly won’t reach 50 thanks to injuries, he very well could end the season with the best goals per game percentage in the NHL.

With a handful of games still left in the regular season, both Perry and Stamkos still have time and both have the talent to reach 50 goals. The Ducks are barely clinging to a playoff spot in the West, so Perry could continue with his offensive barrage and make a last ditch effort at 50. Stamkos, on the other hand, plays with one of the best wingers in the game in Martin St. Louis, who has been on an offensive tear lately, and Stamkos could benefit as he makes a bid for 50.

What do you think? Do either of these players have what it takes to make 50 or will the NHL go without a 50-goal scorer this season?


  1. Perry gets 50, Stamkos doesn’t. The Ducks need him to get the points and he is hot right now. Stamkos has been a little off the radar lately and Tampa seems content to cost into the playoffs .

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