Monday, January 25, 2010

1990-91 St. Louis Blues Brett Hull Jersey

Brett Hull joined an exclusive club on this date in 1991 by scoring his 50th goal in 50 games or less.

The feat was famously first accomplished back in 1944-45 by Maurice "Rocket" Richard on the final day of the season when the schedule was only 50 games long. Even with the season extended to 60 games in 1946 and 70 games in 1949, it would still take another 16 years for anyone to score 50 again when Bernie Geoffrion scored his 50th but not until his 62nd game.

Maurice Richard 50 Pictures, Images and Photos
Maurice Richard celebrates becoming the first to score 50 goals in a season

It would take 35 years before anyone would equal Richard's 50 in 50, when in 1980-81 Mike Bossy famously scored twice in the last five minutes of his 50th game to match Richard, who was in attendance at the game to congratulate Bossy.

Bossy Richard 50 goals, Bossy Richard 50 goals
Mike Bossy poses with Maurice Richard to celebrate
Bossy's 50th goal in 50 games

Wayne Gretzky would shatter the 50 in 50 mark the following season when he simply assaulted the record by scoring four goals in his 38th game to put him at 45 goals and then blasted in five goals in the very next game to hit the 50 goal mark in only 39 games.

Think about that for a moment. At the conclusion of game 37 Gretzky stood at 41 goals and then scored nine goals in just two games! That's a good week for some teams these days.

Gretzky 50 goals, Gretzky 50 goals
Gretzky poses with the pucks from his five goals,
including the one from milestone 50th goal

Gretzky would again beat the 50 game barrier twice more when he scored 50 in 42 games in 1983-84 and 40 in a leisurely 49 games in 1984-85.

Mario Lemieux was the next one to join the ranks of 50 in 50, when in 1988-89 he managed to score his 50th in the Pittsburgh Penguins 46th game, which was the 44th game that Lemieux had played in that season.

Lemieux 88-89, Lemieux 88-89
Mario Lemieux

The most recent member of the 50 in 50 club would be Brett Hull, when he scored twice in his 49th game to reach the magical 50 mark on this date in 1991. Hull would again achieve 50 in 50 the following season of 1991-92 when he scored goal #50 against Kelly Hrudey of the Los Angeles Kings in a 3-3 tie.

Brett Hull Blues, Brett Hull Blues
Brett Hull

To qualify for the 50 goals in 50 games mark, a player must score 50 on or before his team's 50th game, which has resulted in some close calls, due to players missing a few games in the early part of the year. Jari Kurri scored 50 in 50 in 1984-85, but it was the Edmonton Oilers 53rd game of the season. Alexander Mogilny also scored his 50 goal in the Buffalo Sabres 53rd game of 1992-93 in what was only Mogilny's 46th game.

Lemieux's injury problems affected him twice, as he scored his 50th in 1992-93 during the Penguins 72nd game, but only Lemieux's 48th of the season. 1995-96 would see Lemieux score 50 in 50 of his games, but the 59th game for Pittsburgh.

The final unofficial 50 in 50 member is Cam Neely of the Boston Bruins, who in 1993-94 scored his 50th goal in the 44th game of his season, which was the Bruins 66th contest that year.

Additionally, Charlie Simmer (1980-81) and Bernie Nicholls (1988-89), both of the Kings, and Lemieux (1987-88) came close with 50 goals in 51 games and Brett's father Bobby Hull got his 50th in his 52nd game in 1965-66.

To give credit where credit's due, Anders Hedberg and Bobby Hull both scored 50 goals in less than 50 games while playing in the World Hockey Association, whose records are not recognized by the NHL.

Today's featured jersey is a 1990-91 St. Louis Blues Brett Hull jersey from the game during which he scored his 50th goal of the season.

This style Blues jersey, with it's new, darker shade of blue than before, can be traced back to the 1984-85 season, although with a "Blues" wordmark over the top of a smaller blue note crest. The word mark disappeared in 1987 and the crest had it's sharp corners rounded in 1989-90, giving us today's featured jersey.

The names would change from one color to three in 1992-93 for the final two seasons of use before a radical redesign sent this classic style into retirement.

St Louis Blues 90-91 jersey, St Louis Blues 90-91 jersey
St Louis Blues 90-91 jersey, St Louis Blues 90-91 jersey

Today's video highlight is Brett Hull scoring his 50th goal in his 49th games.

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