That’s So Jungle: Sam Gagner’s Eight Point Night
There haven’t been many moments over the course of the past decade where it’s felt like things we’re going to get better, but this was one of them. The year was 2012, a year where we somehow started 9-3-2 before it inevitably fell apart. Little did we know that on another otherwise miserable season, insanity was about to happen. We’ve seen some crazy ass shit in the Jungle’s history, and this may have been the most unexpected of them all. Eight points in today’s NHL is like 16 back in the day. In fact, the last person to do what Gagner did that night was Mario Lemieux back in 1989. Two decades had gone by before another player reached the eight point plateau, a feat only accomplished by 16 players in the NHL’s 99 year existence. It’s tied for the second most points ever accumulated in a hockey game, with Darryl Sittler’s 10 point night in 1976 being the only time a player has scored more. It’s also tied for the most points ever scored by an Oiler in a single game, a record he shares with two guys named Gretzky and Coffey. What’s even more amazing is that it was Sam Gagner who went superhuman for 60 minutes. Not Sidney Crosby. Not Alex Ovechkin. Not Evgeni Malkin. Not Datsyuk, not Kane, not Benn, not Stamkos, not Tavares, nope. Sam Gagner, who’s all but a lock to be on the Spengler Cup roster in the next two or three years. They say the Jungle is the place where the unthinkable can happen, and my God Gary, it happened on that cold February night in 2012.
PS – Watching those highlights reminded me how horrendous Taylor Hall’s Easton bucket used to be. That thing sucked almost as much as his toe drags.
PSS – If you look really closely after the seventh point, you’ll briefly notice a very handsome local blogger living in one of the coolest moments that old barn has ever experienced:
Look at that blurry smile. I had no idea what was ahead. If I could go back four years and speak to young Shanny, I’d tell him to savour every last moment in that Jungle. You have no idea how badly you’ll miss something until it’s gone. I’d also look him in the eyes and tell him how bad things were going to suck, that it gets worse than Barker and Sutton, try to explain the events that transpired during the third period of a March 1st Saturday night BoA in 2014, and maybe even show him this:
But then I’d tell him it’d all be worth it because of the electrifying jolt of excellence a then-15-year-old kid Richmond Hill, Ontario would bring to our squad.
And I would damn well hope that a young, naïve, 20-year-old me would look current me back in the eyes and reply: “I gave your wife an electrifying jolt of excellence.”