February 20, 2013

Espo Knew How To Celebrate His Birthday

This is Phil Esposito, the NHL's goal scoring king in the days between Bobby Hull and Wayne Gretzky.

He was not the prettiest of goal scorers, usually just banging away from the slot and swatting at rebounds. They used to say "Jesus saves, but Espo scores on the rebound."

Between the years of 1971 and 1976, Espo scored 50 goals in five consecutive seasons. In fact, he scored 76, 66, 55, 68 and 61 goals, some pretty fantastic numbers by any era's standards. But did you know it was Esposito who first cracked the 60 goal plateau.

Here's something else I bet you did not know. In three of the five seasons he scored 50 goals, 1970-71, 1971-72 and 1973-74, Espo reached the magical 50 goal mark on February 20th, his birthday! In 1972, he even did it by scoring against his brother - Tony Esposito of the Chicago Blackhawks.

Happy Birthday Phil Esposito!

(By the way - the only other player in NHL history to score his 50th goal on his birthday was Wayne Gretzky in 1985)

1 comment:

Quisp said...

I remember the "Jesus/Espo" bumper sticker. I was mildly annoyed when it was recycled as Jesus/Gretzky in the 80s. Especially since it didn't make sense.

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