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Leaf of the Day - Oct 27, 2008 - 1978-79 Sittler Highlight

Editor's Note: After a weekend drought 1967ers is back with another Monday's look at the 1978-79 Maple Leafs.

Oct 27, 2008 - 1978-79 - Sittler Highlight

This was shaping up to be one of those 'nothing inspires me' days where the lead candidates were Wayne Thomas and Orland Kurtenbach, simply to get them out of the scan pile because I was tired of looking at them

Then it dawned on me - this is Monday, and I've prescribed what I am doing on Mondays.  First time in a while I've been glad for a Monday.

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This will be the last of these that isn't for a player, per se.  There were a pair of all-star cards in '78-79, but I didn't scan either of those.

Darryl Sittler was the second-team all-star centre in 1977-78.  This was the second year in a row that he'd merited something to be mentioned in the season's highlight cards (the prior year praising his 1976 10-point game).

Among the other things the Leafs managed to do in 1977, Sittler managed a personal best 9-game goal scoring streak.  At first glance, this doesn't seem to be that big of a deal, though this is from the pre-Gretzky era where scoring records weren't completely absurd.

At the time, though, this was one game shy of the modern (post-1927) record held by Bobby Hull and Andy Bathgate.  There were three streaks better than that, but they all dated from the first years of the NHL. 

I always like to see the progression of records.  Aside from giving one a sense of context, it makes for great trivia questions - "OK, so-and-so holds this record.  Whose record did he break?"

A 10-game goal-scoring streak would be surpassed twice by 1982, and Mario would pass it again a few years later.  Interestingly, of all the people to break that mark, none were named Gretzky.  (Wayne, of course, had that 51-game POINTS streak, which is simply insane.)

This is how the record stands as of this moment:

16 games
    - Punch Broadbent, Ott., 1921-22, 25 goals during streak.
14 games
    - Joe Malone, Mon., 1917-18, 35 goals during streak.
13 games
    - Newsy Lalonde, Mon., 1920-21, 24 goals during streak.
    - Charlie Simmer, L.A., 1979-80, 17 goals during streak.
12 games
    - Cy Denneny, Ott., 1917-18, 23 goals during streak.
    - Dave Lumley, Edm., 1981-82, 15 goals during streak.
    - Mario Lemieux, Pit., 1992-93, 18 goals during streak.


(from http://www.bov.ch/hockey/season.html)

13 - Charlie Simmer.  I'd forgotten about him.  Scored like crazy until the injuries hit.  He's certainly legit on this list.

12 - DAVE (freaking) LUMLEY?  Seriously?  Hmmm - the '81-82 Oilers.  A nickel says I can guess who was on his line that year....

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I'm trying to imagine the last Leaf who might have had 37 goals in February.  Andreychuk, maybe?  It has certainly been a while. 

PensionPlanPuppets.com is a fan community that allows members to post their own thoughts and opinions on the Toronto Maple Leafs and hockey in general. These views and thoughts may not be shared by the editor of PensionPlanPuppets.com.

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