Which NHL Milestones Should You Be Watching?

The NHL season has been no stranger to crazy storylines – both on and off the ice.

But in particular, many records and scoring paces that we thought would never be broken or matched again could be threatened while legends of the game continue to put their stamp on hockey history.

Here’s a look at a few milestones you should be keeping an eye on:

The Race to 50 in 50 and 60 goals

If you love goal scoring, you have to love the rate Alex Ovechkin and Leon Draisaitl have been putting pucks in the back of the net. Draisaitl currently leads the league in scoring with 20 goals while Ovechkin sits behind him at 18 goals. 

Both are on a pace that could see them threaten the 60-goal barrier, while the discussion of Draisaitl being the first player since 1991-92 to score 50 goals in his team’s first 50 games has begun.

In an era where goaltending has improved by leaps and bounds from the 80s scoring boom, it’s amazing to see two players whose goal-scoring prowess has yet to be slowed down.

Ovechkin, 36, is on pace to have the best scoring season of his career, while Draisaitl’s 29.9 shooting percentage is currently one of the best we’ve ever seen – although one would expect to drop to a more reasonable number at some point.

The iron man challenge

For over 30 years, Doug Jarvis has been the reigning iron man of the NHL with his amazing mark of 964 consecutive games played, unmatched since he set the mark in 1987-88. Keith Yandle’s longevity and durability have put the mark into serious jeopardy of being surpassed.

The Philadelphia Flyers blueliner is sitting at 940 consecutive games played and is on pace to break the mark by Philadelphia’s January 22nd, 2022 game against the Detroit Red Wings. If Yandle isn’t the man to break the mark, then the task falls on the Arizona Coyotes Phil Kessel who currently has played in 920 consecutive games.

The legends race to 1,700 games

Zdeno Chara and Joe Thornton are the NHL’s last active players from the 1990s and they’re both on the verge of entering a club that only five other players have entered before them. The closest right now is Thornton sitting at 1,691 games played, while Chara is at 1,623 games.

Thornton will all but certainly enter the club this year, but we’ll have to see if Chara plays another year at 45 years old to join him.

Sid’s points climb

Remember when he was Sid the Kid? Fast forward 17 seasons later and he’s now a grizzled veteran with three Stanley Cups to his name and approaching the 1,400 point mark, a total only accomplished by one other player to spend his entire career in a Penguins uniform in the form of Mario Lemieux.

Pittsburgh’s captain needs 69 points to reach the mark. and he should have no issue hitting that if he stays healthy. Even with his slow start due to injuries, do not underestimate him making up for the lost time.

Flower power pushing on to 500 wins

Marc-Andre Fleury’s first season in Chicago hasn’t been pretty, but he’s on the doorstep of 500 wins with 497. If he gets three more, he’ll join only Patrick Roy and Martin Brodeur in the 500 win club.

Passing either Roy or Brodeur might be too tall of a task to ask for with Roy at 551 wins and Brodeur at an incredible 691 wins, but either way, Fleury will continue to prove why he’s destined for the Hockey Hall of Fame in short order.