Anniversary of 50 in 50

On Jan. 24, 1981, Mike Bossy became the second player, behind Maurice Richard, to score 50 goals in 50 games

Tuesday, 01.24.2012 / 1:02 PM ET / News
By Cory Wright
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Anniversary of 50 in 50
In the digital age of NHL stat-keeping, player, coaches and franchise milestones are tracked and recognized like never before. Through that wealth of achievements, only a handful of those truly stand out to the hockey community at large years later. Even fewer air so many times on highlight reels and commercials that the images become ingrained for fans who weren’t even alive to watch the game.

Mike Bossy became the second player in NHL hisrtory to score 50 goals in 50 games. Click here to watch highlight video.
The clock was winding down on the Islanders-Nordiques game on Jan. 24, 1981. With five minutes remaining the score was tied at four and Mike Bossy sat on the bench, wondering what he would tell the media after the game.

He had 48 goals in 49 and 2/3 games, a respectable feat itself, but he had promised the elusive 50 goals in 50 games, something that hadn’t been done in 36 years.

“With five minutes left, I hadn’t given up hope,” Bossy said. “In the back of my mind it was creeping in, ‘what I was going to tell everybody,’ since I brought the attention to myself and didn’t score in three straight games.”

He stopped thinking about it, hopped over the boards, and then instinct kicked in. With just over four minutes left, he skated in front of the Nordiques goal and backhanded a feed from Stefan Persson passed Ron Grahame. That held up as the game-winner, but with two and a half minutes to go, a milestone was to be had.

“I was an instinctive goal-scorer,” he said. “Those two goals kind of happened before I had time to think about what I was going to do, which was probably a better thing.”

Bossy was posted by the left faceoff dot. He received a pass from Bryan Trottier and immediately let it go.

When the twine bulged, Bossy became only the second player in history, after Maurice “Rocket” Richard, to score 50 goals in 50 games. Three more players have since joined the club: Brett Hull, Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky. That’s pretty elite company.

“There’s only five people that have done it,” Bossy said. “When you’re one of five that has had the pleasure and opportunity to do something like that, it’s special.”

He appreciates that people still approach him and tell him that they were there during the game or that they remember the goal, over 30 years later. 

As for his personal accolades, Bossy says that going 50 in 50 is a close second on his formidable resume. The only thing that could top scoring 50 goals in 50 games - scoring 50 goals in nine straight seasons.

“I always put my nine consecutive 50-plus goal seasons as first because something I always wanted to be was consistent,” Bossy said. “I’d have to say that 50 in 50 is number two.”

As for the milestone puck, Bossy still keeps it in a safe place. The current whereabouts are unknown to all but its owner, but no one will forget its last public appearance: Nassau Coliseum, 31 years ago today.





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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - NYR 73 47 19 7 224 168 101
2 MTL 75 46 21 8 197 167 100
3 TBL 75 46 22 7 244 194 99
4 NYI 75 44 26 5 228 208 93
5 PIT 74 40 23 11 204 186 91
6 DET 73 39 22 12 212 201 90
7 WSH 74 40 24 10 215 182 90
8 OTT 73 37 25 11 213 195 85
9 BOS 74 36 25 13 195 193 85
10 FLA 74 34 26 14 184 202 82
11 PHI 75 30 29 16 196 216 76
12 NJD 74 31 31 12 166 189 74
13 CBJ 73 34 35 4 198 228 72
14 CAR 73 27 36 10 170 201 64
15 TOR 75 27 42 6 194 241 60
16 BUF 74 20 46 8 141 249 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 75 34 40 -1 74
R. Strome 74 15 31 19 46
K. Okposo 53 15 31 -10 46
F. Nielsen 74 13 28 9 41
B. Nelson 75 18 22 9 40
A. Lee 69 23 16 14 39
J. Bailey 63 15 23 6 38
J. Boychuk 65 8 25 10 33
T. Hamonic 65 5 25 16 30
N. Leddy 71 10 19 16 29
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 35 16 2 .915 2.39
C. Johnson 8 8 1 .889 3.08

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