February 07, 2009

Darryl Sittler's Big Night

February 7th, 1976. Darryl Sittler has the single greatest game in National Hockey League history.

Sittler's Toronto Maple Leafs blasted Don Cherry's Boston Bruins 11-4 on this night. Sittler has a record smashing 10 points, including 6 goals thanks to consecutive hat tricks in the second and third periods.

Sittler's 10 points surpassed the old record of 8 points, held by two former Montreal Canadiens: Rocket Richard in 1944 and Bert Olmstead in 1954.

No player has come close to touching the record since. Several have hit the 8 mark, including Tom Bladon, Bryan Trottier, Peter and Anton Stastny (in the same game!) Paul Coffey, Bernie Nicholls, Wayne Gretzky twice and Mario Lemieux twice.

The superstitious Sittler credited his luck to his Swiss Chalet pregame meal, though he was never able to duplicate another big night thanks to their chicken and fries.

Here's the game summary, courtesy the Hockey Summary Project:

First Period
1 TOR : Lanny McDonald (Darryl Sittler) 6:19
1 TOR : Ian Turnbull (Darryl Sittler, Errol Thompson) 7:01
1 BOS : Jean Ratelle (Bobby Schmautz) 16:54

Second Period
2 TOR : Darryl Sittler (Borje Salming, Lanny McDonald) 2:56
2 TOR : Borje Salming (Darryl Sittler) 3:33
2 BOS : Bobby Schmautz (Johnny Bucyk, Jean Ratelle) 5:19
2 TOR : Darryl Sittler (unassisted) 10:27
2 TOR : Darryl Sittler (Jack Valiquette, Norm Ferguson) 10:27
2 BOS : Johnny Bucyk (Jean Ratelle, Bobby Schmautz) 11:06
2 TOR : Norm Ferguson (Inge Hammarstrom, Scott Garland) 11:40
2 TOR : Borje Salming (Lanny McDonald, Darryl Sittler) 13:57
2 BOS : Jean Ratelle (Bobby Schmautz, Doug Gibson) 14:35

Third Period
3 TOR : Darryl Sittler (Borje Salming, Errol Thompson) 0:44
3 TOR : Darryl Sittler (Errol Thompson) 9:27
3 TOR : Darryl Sittler (Lanny McDonald) 16:35

Here's some video footage courtesy of YouTube:

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