NHL Playoffs: Top Ten Point Producers Of All-Time

May 7th, 2010 No Comments

NHL Playoffs: Top Ten Point Producers Of All-Time

With the second round of the 2010 NHL Playoffs just heating up it’s tough not to make comparisons from playoff seasons past. Numerous players are having career years in this years playoffs, many of whom were not expected to do so.

Let’s face it, everyone likes to root for the unknown hero, but what about the all-time greats, which players were the top playoff point producers in NHL history?

Let’s take a look at the top ten playoff point producers, will your favorite clutch player be there?

Bryan Trottier: 1975-1976 through 1993-1994

If you are a fan of hockey it’s no surprise that a member of the New York Islanders dynasty is on this list—what may surprise you is that it is Bryan Trottier and not Mike Bossy or Denis Potvin that is here.

Trottier (affectionately known as “Artie” in NHL circles)played a total of 221 career playoff games, amassing a total of 71 goals and 113 assists for a total of 184 points (just three points ahead of Jaromir Jagr).

Trottier scored a total of 18 power play goals, four short handed goals and 12 game- winners, proving his worth as one of the NHL’s best playoff performers of all-time.

Steve Yzerman: 1983 through 2005-2006

Playoff success did not come easy for Steve Yzerman or his Detroit Red Wings, at least not at first. Yzerman had to endure several painful defeats (not unlike San Jose Shark Joe Thornton) before winning his first Stanley Cup in 1997.

Yzerman, (also known as “The Captain”, “Stevie Y” and “Stevie Wonder” by Detroit fans), played a total of 196 career playoff games, notching 70 goals adding 115 assists for a total of 188 points.

Of his 70 goals 27 were on the power play, three were scored short handed and 12 of them were game winners.

Known as one of the greatest leaders in all of hockey Yzerman will be remembered as one of the hardest working hockey players of all-time and a distinguished playoff performer.

Doug Gilmour: 1983-1984 through 2002-2003

If you didn’t like watching Doug Gilmour in the playoffs you don’t like hockey, plain and simple!

Gilmour (affectionately known as “Dougie”, “Prince of Pain” and “Killer” was one of those special players that could win you a series all on his own, which he did on several occasion playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs, or so it appeared.

Gilmour played in a total of 182 career playoff games, amassing 60 goals and 128 assists, good enough for 188 points—a slim three points ahead of Yzerman.

Known as a player that could do it all, Gilmour also amassed 235 penalty minutes and was as good in the offensive zone as he was in the defensive zone—he was the epitome of the “complete player”.

Rugged, quick and known for his seemingly never ending energy, Gilmour scored a total of 20 power play goals, two short handed goals and 13 game-winners.

Let’s face it, if you are making up an all-time playoff roster you want Gilmour on you team—he was just that good.

Joe Sakic: 1988-89 through 2008-09

There are very few players that leave the game with the respect from his peers, accomplishments and admiration from the fans that Joe Sakic did. Let’s face it, everyone misses Joe Sakic, he is as good a human being as he is a hockey player.

Sakic (also known as “Super Joe”, “Joe Cool” and “Burnaby Joe”) played his entire career with the Quebec Nordiques/Colorado Avalanche organization, winning a total of two Stanley Cups along the way (1996, 2001).

Known as a gifted goal-scorer and impressive skater, Sakic played a total of 172 career playoff games, amassing a total of 84 goals, 104 assists, totaling 188 points (which ties him with Gilmour on this list).

Of his 84 career playoff goals Sakic scored 27 on the power play, four shorthanded, 19 game-winners and an impressive eight overtime goals. Sakic’s six game-winning goals in the 1996 playoff season established a new NHL record, one which still stands today.

Can you say Mr. Clutch?

Brett Hull: 1985-1986 through 2005-2006

There are not many players that could shoot the puck with the velocity and accuracy that Brett Hull did.

Hull (also known as “The Golden Brett”), arguably had the best one-timer ever and one of the best slap shots I have ever witnessed. He played in a total of 202 career playoff games, amassing 103 goals (fourth all-time), 87 assists, totaling 190 points.

His 38 power play goals is tops all-time as are his 24 game winning goals (***tied with Wayne Gretzky). Hull also had four shorthanded goals, all the while keeping it clean out on the ice with just 73 penalty minutes.

Hull scored one of the most famous goals in NHL playoff history when (arguably in Dominik Hasek’s crease) he was awarded the game winner in the Stanley Cup Finals when his Dallas Stars defeated the Buffalo Sabres in the 1998-1999 season. (God I love writing that—”Boohoo-Buffalo!”).

Paul Coffey: 1980 through 1995-1996

The only defenseman to make the top ten list, Coffey was known for his near-flawless skating and offensive prowess.

Coffey played a total of 194 career playoff games, amassing 59 goals (best amongst all NHL defensemen), 137 assists (fourth all-time) for a total of 196 points.

Coffey scored 20 power play goals, seven shorthanded markers and eight game winners.

Coffey was a key contributor to the Edmonton Oiler dynasty of the 1980’s (winning Cups in 1984, 1985 and 1987). Coffey also won a Stanley Cup with the 1991 Pittsburgh Penguins, solidifying his reputation as one of the most feared offensive defenseman and, as the statistics prove, one of the NHL’s most dangerous playoff performers of all-time.

Glenn Anderson: 1980 through 1995-1996

One of the most underrated playoff performers of all-time, Anderson played a total of 225 career playoff games, amassing 93 goals, 121 assists (ninth all-time), good enough for 214 points.

Anderson scored a total of 22 power play goals, one short handed marker and 17 game winners—tying him for fifth overall with the likes of Mike Bossy, Jaromir Jagr and (shockingly) Chris Drury…who would of thought of Drury as being so “clutch in the playoffs?).

3. Jari Kurri: 1980-1981 through 1997-1998

With so many former Edmonton Oilers on this list it’s no wonder many hockey experts picked the 1980’s Oilers as the greatest NHL team of all-time.

Jari Kurri was just as important as the rest of them and, in some ways (especially defensively) was more dominant than his Oilers counterparts.

Kurri was capable of agitating opposing forwards, scoring goals, setting up teammates and playing a major role on the Oilers special teams.

Through 200 career playoff games Kurri amassed a total of 106 career playoff goals (third all-time), 127 assists (sixth all-time) and 127 points.

Kurri scored 25 power play markers, 10 short handed goals and 14 game winners, solidifying him as one of the greatest playoff performers of all-time.

Mark Messier: 1979-1980 through 2003-2004

Known as one of the greatest leaders of all-time, Messier is known not only for his dominance with the Oilers dynasty, but also for his 1994 playoff performance with the New York Rangers.

Messier, nicknamed “the Moose”, made a bold prediction in the 1994 Eastern Conference Finals against the rival New Jersey Devils in which Messier publicly guaranteed a Game 6 victory. The Rangers were down 3-2 in the series at the time, they went on to win game six and the series—Messier netted a hat-trick!

It was a key moment in the Rangers proud history and Messier’s career. Messier would go on to score the game seven winner in the Stanley Cup Finals—bringing the Stanley Cup back to New York for the first time in 54 years, ending “the curse”.

Messier played a total of 236 career playoff games, amassing 109 goals (second all-time), 186 assists (second all-time) and 295 points.

Messier scored an impressive 26 power play markers, 12 short handed goals and 14 game winners. Messier was one of the best at elevating his game come playoff time and a tremendous leader on and off the ice.

Simply put, like many of the players on this list, Messier was all-clutch, all the time—especially in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Wayne Gretzky: 1979-1980 through 1998-1999

And you were expecting?

Let’s face it, anyone who follows hockey knows the legend that is Wayne Gretzky. There will likely never be another player that could put up the numbers that Gretzky did and that applies to the playoffs as well.

Gretzky is the most dominant playoff performer of all-time, amassing a total of 122 goals (first overall), 260 assists (first overall), good enough for 382 points—which stands as the best point totals in NHL playoff history.

Sure, Gretzky had a lot of help—all five players in the top five of tis list were apart of the Edmonton Oilers dynasty of the 1980’s. That said, when you look at the totals nobody even came close to “the great one” in assist or points—it simply no competition.

If not for his trade to the Los Angeles Kings in the summer 1988 one has to think that Gretzky would have won one or two more Stanley Cups with the Oilers, as it stands he won four Cups (1984, 1985, 1987, 1988) and was a huge factor in each win.

Gretzky, nicknamed “The Great One”, registered 34 career playoff power play goals (third overall), 11 short handed markers (second overall) and 24 game winners (***tied for first overall with Brett Hull).

Gretzky finished his playoff career with 122 goals on just 299 shots, which equates to a shooting percentage of well over 30 percent (unheard of in the playoffs)..think about that again fora second…

In contrast, Brett Hull scored his 103 goals on a total of 784. Imagine if Gretzky shot the puck more often???

If you are picking your all-time playoff roster Gretzky is the first pick every time, anyone else would be an act of stupidity, wouldn’t it?

Honorable Mention:

Mario Lemieux: 1984-1985 through 2005-2006

Hampered by back injuries for most of his career, Mario Lemieux (also know as “Super Mario”, “Le Magnifique” and “The Magnificent One”), is still regarded as one of the best players in NHL history and, in some circles, the best ever.

Lemieux amassed 76 career playoff goals, 96 assists, totaling 172 points. Mario’s 172 career playoff points in just 107 games gives him one of the best points-per-game average in NHL playoff history, which clearly makes him a candidate for this list.

Lemieux scored a total of 29 career playoff power play goals (5th overall), seven shorthanded goals (seventh overall) and 11 game winners (30th overall).

One has to think that, if healthy, Lemieux would have been right there with the top ten playoff point producers of all-time and, for that reason, he gets the honorable mention.

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