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Selanne has complete goals highlight reel in his head

Wednesday, 10.05.2011 / 9:53 AM / 2011 Compuware NHL Premiere

By Risto Pakarinen - NHL.com Correspondent

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Selanne has complete goals highlight reel in his head
Teemu Selanne has scored 678 regular-season and playoff goals in 18 NHL seasons, and he says he can remember every one of them.

HELSINKI -- Remember the goal Teemu Selanne scored against the Quebec Nordiques' Stephane Fiset to break Mike Bossy's record for most goals by a rookie in 1993? When he went after a loose puck Tie Domi had sent to the neutral zone, and flipped it over Fiset with one hand?

Who could forget that?

Oh, and the one he scored to tie that game, when he grabbed the puck behind the net when Darrin Shannon's shot had gone wide, went around the net, sent it in with a wraparound?

Not so sure if you remember that?

What about the one he scored off a pass from Saku Koivu, on Oct. 15, 2010, against Atlanta?

That’s a tough one even for a hardcore fan.

Guess who does remember that -- and all of them? Teemu Selanne. At least, that's what he says.

A few days ago, the Orange County Register ran a story about the Ducks' Andrew Gordon, whose father took him to a Jets game in Winnipeg, to see Wayne Gretzky and the Los Angeles Kings. Instead of watching the Great One, however, Gordon saw Selanne as a rookie score 2 goals -- his 69th and 70th -- and, he said, "Teemu became my favorite player from then on."

"I do remember them all. I simply go through every game in my mind before I go to bed, and rescore all the goals in my head." -- Teemu Selanne

When the reporter went to Selanne to tell the story about Gordon, Selanne said, "That's pretty funny. I remember that game and I remember those goals, too."

"He claims to remember every single one of the goals he's scored in the NHL. But should we believe that?" former Jokerit and Team Finland teammate Juha Lind wrote in a recent column.

After all, that's a lot of goals -- 678 regular-season and playoff goals, to be exact.

"I do remember them all," Selanne told NHL.com. "I simply go through every game in my mind before I go to bed, and rescore all the goals in my head."

That gives Selanne's goal-scoring genius another dimension. Not only does he know how to be in the right place at the right time on the ice, but off it, his brain also is able to register the circumstances of each goal, and store -- and retrieve -- the information, like savants who hear a song once and can then play it on the piano. 
"I also go through the chances that I missed, and think about what I should have done instead. That's why they stick to my mind," Selanne said. "I'm sure it helps me with scoring, all those chances, and replayed chances stay in my mind, and I've always said that when you get the chance, you have to react instinctively, and not think at all. So I study the game."

And that -- together with his natural talent -- is why he remains one of the best goal-scorers in the game.
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