October is when baseball playoffs are on and World Series glory is up for grabs. Clutch players, the absolute best of the best, rise to the top, no one more famously than the Yankees' Reggie Jackson.
In hockey, October marks the beginning of the season. Hockey's Mr. October award goes to players who tend to start the season really strong, but then fade as the season progresses and all but have disappeared by the time the playoffs start.
In recent memory, no one has done that more famously than Brian Savage.
Savage was a notoriously quick starter, often flirting with the league goal scoring leaders at Halloween. Yet he would fade quickly, never once scoring more than 26 goals by season's end, and vanishing in the playoffs where he only scored 3 times in 39 career games.
Here's the statistical evidence:
As you can see, the bulk of his offensive contributions came early, in October and November. He would then fade noticeably.
And he did this seemingly annually. I'm not sure who it must have been more frustrating for - his coaches or hockey poolers. Either way, to see him flirt with early greatness yet never breakthrough was disappointing.
Who will be 2009's Mr. October? Here's a look back at 2008's highest scorers in the opening month of the season:
Alexander Semin - 8g + 8a = 16pts, 9gp
Evgeni Malkin - 3g +13a = 16pts, 11gp
Marian Hossa - 6g + 9a = 15pts, 11gp
Marc Savard - 5g + 9a = 14pts, 11gp
Corey Perry - 3g + 11a = 14pts, 11gp
Mike Richards - 4g + 9a = 13pts, 10gp
Sidney Crosby - 3g + 10a = 13pts, 11gp
JP Dumont - 2g + 11a = 13pts, 10gp
Mikko Koivu - 1g + 12a = 13pts, 9gp