In January, NHL Green announced the launch of Hat Tricks for Trees™, an initiative assisting The Nature Conservancy’s effort to save Brazil’s Atlantic Forest. The National Hockey League Foundation is donating 50 trees for every hat trick scored throughout the 2012-13 regular season and NHL Playoffs.
To date, the League has now pledged to plant 1,000 trees as part of the initiative.
By the numbers: Only one player, Chris Kunitz, has recorded more than one hat trick at this point in the season. As a team, the Anaheim Ducks (Cogliano, Palmieri, Bonino), Philadelphia Flyers (Read, Voracek) and Calgary Flames (Glencross, Cammalleri) have had multiple players contribute hat tricks. Only one team (Anaheim Ducks) have lost this season when one of their players tallied three goals in a game (Cogliano, March 2). Of the twenty hat tricks recorded thus far, seven have been career-firsts (Voracek, Kopecky, Palmieri, Read, Bonino, Kadri and Sobotka).
Let’s take a look back at the players who notched hat tricks 11 through 20 this season, contributing 500 trees to the League’s total pledge:
Kyle Palmieri (Anaheim Ducks): Palmieri snapped a 10-game scoring drought by netting three consecutive goals for his first NHL hat trick as the Ducks capped their third 11-win month in franchise history by routing the Nashville Predators 5-1 on February 27.
Alexander Ovechkin (Washington Capitals): On Saturday, February 23, Alex Ovechkin produced his first hat trick in more than two years, leading the struggling Washington Capitals to a 5-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils. Ovechkin entered the game with five goals in 16 games this season, only good enough to be tied for third on his own team, which began the day with a 5-10-1 record and 11 standings points, the fewest in the 30-team NHL. But the two-time NHL MVP broke out in a big way, turning in his first three-goal game since a 4-1 victory at Toronto on Jan. 22, 2011.
Andrew Cogliano (Anaheim Ducks): Cogliano had three goals for the Ducks, his second NHL hat trick, who lost in a shootout to the Coyotes 5-4 on March 2. "I just got in the right spots, and I don't think (Mike) Smith was ready for them," Cogliano said of two of his goals. "I just wanted to shoot at the net quickly, and they went under him."
"After I got the second, I said it would be kind of cool to see a bunch of cowboy hats come on the ice. It's a little different, that doesn't happen very often," said Glencross, who helps out in the chuckwagon barns every summer during the Calgary Stampede. "Even the coaches came in after the game and said that's fitting, it's Cowboy Night and you get your hattie."
Chris Kunitz (Pittsburgh Penguins): Making this list for the second time (and now responsible for contributing 100 trees) Chris Kunitz posted his second hat trick of the season as the Penguins rocked the New York Islanders 6-1 on Sunday, March 10. As a player traditionally known more for his dirty work in front of the net than his talent for finding the back of it, Kunitz currently sits tied (with Steven Stamkos) for second in the NHL for points, behind teammate Sidney Crosby.