Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Career GHHTs: Al Secord

Al Secord had ten career Gordie Howe Hat Tricks.  Surprisingly, none during the 1981-82 season, when he racked up 44 goals and 303 PIM.  The only player in NHL history to have a 40/300 season.  Secord had his best years playing alongside Denis Savard in the early 1980s.  Secord followed up his 44 goal season with 54 the following year.  Of Secord's 10 GHHTs, all during the regular season, three times he fought multiple times , including three times in a game versus the Toronto Maple Leafs, and in another game, both of the Bruise Brothers of the Detroit Red Wings, Joey Kocur and Bob Probert.  Secord may also be the only player to record a Gordie Howe Hat Trick in his final regular season NHL game.

11979-04-05BosBufL1127Larry PlayfairGAF
21981-01-21CBHMtlW2137Chris NilanAGF
31983-02-01CBH@StlW2135Alain VigneaultFAG
41984-04-08CBHMnsW11210Gordie RobertsAFG
51984-10-24CBHVanW11227Ron Delorme, Craig CoxeFAG
61984-12-09CBHTorW11215Jeff Brubaker, Gary Nylund, Bob McGillFAG
71986-01-10CBH@DetW12320Joey Kocur, Bob ProbertGAF
81986-02-01CBH@TorW1125Bob McGillAFG
91988-12-12TorCgyT2135Tim HunterAFG
101990-04-01CBHMnsW11220Basil McRae, Neil WilkinsonAFG

Friday, July 1, 2016

Career GHHTs: Gerad Gallant

  Gerald Gallant was a tough customer who was the early guardian of a young Steve Yzerman.  Gerald had four consecutive 30+ goal and 200+ PIM seasons playing alongside Yzerman in the late 1980s.  Gallant's career was stunted by back injuries, which eventually caused him to retire.  Over his career, Gallant had nine Gordie Howe Hat Tricks, including one in the 1988 play-offs.  He had three during the 1988-89 season.  
  Others that have researched Gordie Howe Hat Tricks have come up 10 GHHTs for Gerald Gallant.  They do not list them.  I could only come up with nine.  The game I believe they may be counting is November 25, 1987.  In that game versus the Jets, Gallant scored a goal, an assist and a roughing minor vs Doug Smail.  The website DropYourGloves.com has it listed as a fight.  While HockeyFights.com doesn't list it all.  Based on my research, there was no fighting major accessed, so technically, this is not counted as a GHHT.

1985-11-02Det@StlT1235Mark ReedsGAF
1986-12-31DetCalW1127Gary SuterGFA
1987-02-20DetQueW12315Gord DonnellyAFG
1987-10-23DetPitW1129Rod BukasFAG
1988-01-06DetStLW11217Rob RamageAGF
1988-01-15DetMnsW1127Gordie RobertsFAG
1988-04-10Det@TorW1237Todd GillFAG
1988-11-01DetWshT1127Robert GouldFGA
1988-11-29DetNYIW1347Jeff NortonAFG
1989-02-11DetMnsW1127Bob RouseGAF

Updated 5/25/2019 - I have found multiple sites that claim Gallant has 10 GHHTs.  My original research showed 9.  Since NHL has made their official boxscores available, I decided to revisit my count.  This added a GHHT (88-1-6) to his count, but also deducted a GHHT (87-2-20).  The NHL.com boxscore lists Gallant as receiving a roughing minor and not a fighting major against Donnelly.  The 3 minute difference corresponds to Gallant's total of 216 PIM in the 1986/87 season.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Season in Review: 2015-16

  2015-16 was a slow season for Gordie Howe Hat Tricks.  There were a total of seven.  The previous low total I had researched was 10 in 2012-13, a lock-out shortened season..  Compared to 2014-15, fights per game was down to 0.28 from 0.32 and goals per game down to 2.71 from 2.73.  So this was more a case of the stars not aligning for the GHHTs this year.  Of note, Chris Neil notched his fourth career GHHT while playing in 900th career game.  Alex Petrovic recorded a pair of Hat Tricks on February 9, 2006.  One was the Gordie Howe Hat Trick, another was for fighting the same opponent, Evander Kane, three times during the same game.

1Chris Neil36RW2015-10-22OTTNJDL-SO11274AGFJordin Tootoo
2Justin Abdelkader28LW2015-12-01DETBUFW21371GAFJosh Gorges
3David Backes31C2015-12-12STLDALW11251GFAJamie Benn
4Alex Petrovic23D2016-02-09FLA@BUFW112291FAGEvander Kane (x3)
5Antoine Roussel26LW2016-02-20DALBOSL11251GAFAdam McQuaid
6Sergey Kalinin24C2016-02-23NJDNYRW11251AFGJ.T. Miller
7Brent Burns30D2016-03-07SJS@CGYW11292GFAGarnet Hathaway

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Career GHHTs: Larry Robinson

  Larry Robinson was not a prolific fighter, but he was a feared man.  He built his reputation on bouts with Dave "The Hammer" Schultz and Gary Howatt during his second season.  Robinson, at 6'3, 200lbs, was a big man by 1970s standards but he also had skill.  Robinson would win two Norris trophies and be a 1st or 2nd Team All-Star six times.  He set a NHL record with a +/- rating of +120 in 1976-77.  Robinson, a HHOFer, would only rack up two Gordie Howe Hat Tricks during his career.  His reputation as a fighter, and value on the ice, would keep his gloves on and Larry out of the sin bin. 

RkDateTm OppGAPTSPIMOrderOpponent
115/2/74MtlChc12314FGAGrant Mulvey
214/2/81MtlWsh12317AGFAlan Hangsleben

  In a way it strange that we profile Larry Robinson, not because of his low GHHT count, but since it can be argued that there would have been many more GHHTs if it wasn't for Larry Robinson.  The expansion Philadelphia Flyers of the late 1960s was a weak team, in the standings and on the ice.  Fred Shero took over as head coach in 1971 and began to bring in physical players.  The team would bring a new style of play, often relying on their fists, as opposed to skill to win games. By 1973, the team had acquired the nickname "The Broad Street Bullies".  The Flyers won back-to-back Stanley Cups in 1974 and 75.  Success bread imitators and some look as the Flyers reign as the dark days of hockey. 
  Then in 1976, the Canadiens swept the Flyers in the Stanley Cup finals.  The Canadiens were seen as a team of skill and finesse, led by names such as Lafleur, Shutt, Dryden and Cournoyer.  Although with Robinson, it could be said, beat the Flyers at their own game, intimidation.  Robinson already had a much publicized win in ab out with Flyers legendery tough guy/goon Dave Schultz under his belt, and then in game two of the 1976 Finals, Robinson dished out one of the greatest hits in NHL history.  Instead of acting like the Broad Street Bullies and jumping Robinson, the Flyers left Robinson alone.

   In "The Game", Ken Dryden wrote of Robinson "They (Bruins and Flyers) held him in such awe, treating him with an embarrassing, almost fawning, respect, that they seemed even to abandon their style of play when he was around, and with it any hope of winning." So in a way, Robinson, while not putting a stop to thugs and goons around the NHL, helped the Canadiens show the rest of the NHL that you can win with skill and without the violence and goonery. 
  Granted with the continued trend of expansion of the NHL in the 1970s, the talent level continued to get watered down and it was easier to find goons as opposed to the skilled players the 1970s Canadiens had stockpiled over the years.  So the GHHTs would continue to mount throughout the 1970s and 80s, as goals and fights would continue to increase.