Fifty goals in fifty games is an incredible accomplishment, and a quirky milestone the hockey world treats with reverence.
Officially, the milestone is 50 goals in the team’s first 50 games of the regular season. This has happened eight times in NHL history, and not since Brett Hull did it in back-to-back seasons (1990-91 and 1991-92). There have been unofficial 50 in 50s, as five times a player had 50 goals in his first 50 games of a season but not the team’s. No one has done that since Cam Neely in 1993-94.
Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals has an outside chance to craft his own version of the NHL’s 50 in 50. He scored 23 goals in the final 23 regular-season contests in 2012-13, and he hasn’t stopped this season, with 17 in his first 20 games.
That’s 40 in 43 games -- he had 40 in 42 before his team was shut out Wednesday by the Pittsburgh Penguins. Can Ovechkin score 10 times in his next seven games? Obviously it wouldn’t be an official 50 in 50 if he pulls it off, but it might be seen as the greatest scoring surge of the past 20 years.