These days, the Toronto Maple Leafs typically take about four games to score 10 goals, but it was 35 years ago Monday that franchise legend Darryl Sittler racked up that many points in one game.
Darryl Sittler scored six goals and assisted four times in an 11-4 thumping of Boston on Hockey Night in Canada on Feb. 7, 1976.
Sittler set an NHL record that will likely not be broken, with the previous mark of eight points held by Rocket Richard and Bert Olmstead.
The centre set a franchise record for goals in one game (held by Howie Meeker) and he and Red Berenson remain the only players after the expansion in 1967 to score six in a game.
Sittler had two assists after the first period, and three goals and four assists after two.
One day earlier, cantankerous Leafs owner Harold Ballard took a shot at Sittler saying the team was looking for a centre worthy enough to play with Lanny McDonald and Errol Thompson.
It's easy to forget that Sittler was in his fifth season and not quite yet the star he would become. He'd managed just nine points in 20 career playoff games up that point.
"Undoubtedly Mr. Ballard will figure his little blast inspired me to set the record but it just isn't that way," Sittler told the Toronto Star after his point explosion.
Boston coach Don Cherry was embarrassed, though he said: "But if somebody has to do it, I'm glad it was a player of Sittler's calibre, a guy who works for what he accomplishes."
Cherry kept young goalie Dave Reece in for all 11 goals. It wasn't quite Mario Tremblay and Patrick Roy, and there was a reason to Cherry's madness.
Gilles Gilbert had a knee injury and Gerry Cheevers had just re-signed with the Bruins days earlier after a WHA spell with the Cleveland Crusaders.
Cherry said earlier that week he planned to play Reece against both Toronto and Detroit in the weekend games because Cheevers wasn't quite ready for game action.
The next night, Cheevers was back in and the Bruins thumped the Wings 7-0.
Other facts lost in the mist of time:
The Detroit Red Wings joined the ranks of lowly Toronto and Ottawa this weekend, not a typical occurence.
Detroit heads into Monday's home game against the New York Rangers not having scored in over 120 minutes after consecutive shutout losses on the weekend.
In fairness to the Red Wings, these weren't lethargic 16-shot efforts. The Red Wings ran into strong performances from Steve Mason and Pekka Rinne on the weekend against Columbus and Nashville, respectively.
Detroit players not named Johan Franzen have accounted for only five goals in the last five games.
As you'll see by the top and bottom lists in terms of recording and losing by shutouts, there's not always been a correlation to standings.
You probably wouldn't guess the only team yet to be shut out, as well as the only NHL club which hasn't posted a shutout through 50-odd games.
Shut out by:
Worst: Toronto (8), Washington, San Jose (7); Ottawa, N.Y. Islanders (6).
Best: St. Louis (0); Chicago, Atlanta (1); Edmonton, Columbus (2).
Best: Boston (8); Rangers (7); Phoenix, Tampa Bay, Los Angeles, Anaheim, Nashville (6).
Worst: Philadelphia (0), Colorado, Toronto, Islanders (1); Detroit, Edmonton, Dallas, Carolina (2).
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