Tuesday, March 19, 2013

March 19, 1991: Brett Hull scores his 80th goal of the season

On March 19, 1991, at the Capital Center in Landover Maryland, Brett Hull scored his 80th goal of the season in a 2-1 win over the Washington Capitals. Hull joined exclusive company, only Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux had reached the 80 goal plateau. Hull would score 6 more goals to surpass Lemieux's 85 goal performance from the '88'-89 season, he was just one goal short of tying Gretzky's 87 goal performance during the '83-'84 season and 6 shy of Gretzky's almost untouchable record of 92 goals scored in the '81-'82 campaign. The Golden Brett would go onto win the league's MVP award that season and to this day no other player has scored 80 or more in one season.

The historic 80th goal came in the first period with the Blues on the powerplay. Later in the contest Kelly Chase would sneak it past Don Beaupre for what would prove to be the game winner. Chaser was playing with the Blues minor league affiliate just the week before and it was his only goal of the season. The Blues were in a dogfight for first place in the Norris Division and were in desperate need of a win as they hit a six game slide. Hull and Chase helped end that slide. The game was just as important for the Caps, they were in a fight just to make the playoffs, it was a fight they wouldn't win.

Brett Hull was the most prolific scorer in the history of the St. Louis Blues. The '90-'91 season was one to be remembered forever. It almost seemed as if every time the puck touched his stick it would end up in the back of the net. The Blues ended up second in the division then beat the Red Wings in the first round of the playoffs. The Blues would meet the Minnesota North Stars in the divisional round and be knocked out in 7 games. It was a disappointing early exit from the playoffs after one of the best regular season's of all time.

Hull played with the Blues from 1988 to 1998, in his time with The Note on his chest he established himself as a fan favorite by lighting the lamp on a regular basis. The franchise recognized him by retiring his number in 2006 then naming a street and erecting a statue of him outside the Scottrade Center in 2010. Although he left the Blues organization in 1998 the fans in St. Louis would forever consider him a Blue. He signed with the Dallas Stars following his departure from the Gateway City and was able to capture his first Stanley Cup title with the Stars in 1999. He would win another Championship in 2002 as a member of the Detroit Red Wings.

As a St. Louisan, it was bittersweet to see Hull win The Cup with another jersey on his back. He was so great with the Blues and they were a perennial  playoff contender while he was here. He was fun to watch and anytime he was on the ice you just knew that there was a good chance you would see him throwing his arms in the air while celebrating the goal he had just scored. I do wish he could have done it all in a Blues uniform but it is a business when it comes down to it and sometimes shit just don't work out that way. I know as fan of that team I will always be happy he wore The Note on his chest.

Here is a great tribute to Hully from when the Blues retired his number:

You can check out the top scorers in NHL history here:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_NHL_players_with_50-goal_seasons

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