February 3, 2012
Sittler in awe of Gagner's night
By LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency
Darryl Sittler has been watching this year’s bumper to bumper NHL scores and standings, noting “you hardly see 10 goals by both teams in one night.”
So the 61-year-old former Leaf was stunned to wake up Friday morning and hear that Sam Gagner of the Edmonton Oilers came the closest of any player in more than 20 seasons to breaking his record of 10 points in one game. Gagner had eight points, on four goals and four assists, in on every play of Thursday’s 8-4 win against Chicago.
“It shows you a magical night can happen at any time,” said Sittler, whose incredible mark was set on Feb. 7, 1976 against Boston. “If you ask (Gagner), I’ll bet he tells you he had no idea it would be a big night.”
Since Sittler lit up Boston goalie Dave Reece that night at the Gardens, eight NHLers have reached eight points 10 times, the last feat by Mario Lemieux on New Year’s Eve, 1988.
“I thought Wayne Gretzky (who reached eight points twice) or Mario would break it,” Sittler said. “Then you had a couple of really talented players come along in Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin. I’m a believer it will be done some day. It is more of a long shot these days, but you never say never.”
Sittler knew Sam’s NHL father Dave when he played for the Leafs and Sittler was in Toronto management. Sittler hadn’t met Sam, but proudly pointed out he played for the same junior team, the London Knights.