May 04, 2014

Wayne Gretzky's Playoff Goal-less Drought

Much is being made these days of Sidney Crosby's 12 post-season games goal-less drought. Which made me curious - what was Wayne Gretzky's longest playoffs stretch without a goal.

The answer is also 12, spread over two seasons.

After scoring single goals in each of the opening four playoff games he did not score a goal in the final 8 games of the 1991 playoffs. That concluded with six straight goal-less games in the second round against the Edmonton Oilers. Gretzky then opened up the 1992 playoffs with four more goal-less games, also against Edmonton.

During that 12 game drought Gretzky did pick up 14 assists, 9 in 1991 and 5 in 1992.

Gretzky did have an 11 game post-season goal-less drought later with LA. Again it was spread over two playoffs, and this time separated by 3 years. He did have 13 assists over these 11 games.

Gretzky finished goal-less in the final two games of the Stanley Cup final against Montreal in 1993. He did not return to the playoffs until 1996 when the aging star did not score a goal until his 10 game.

Gretzky's longest post-season goalless drought as a member of the Edmonton Oilers was 9 (with 13 assists). It happened in 1987 and 1988.

The Great One had a strange post-season in 1987. He was just 0-2-2 in a 5 game series vs Detroit, and then finished the epic seven game Stanley Cup final vs Philadelphia with another 5 game dry spell. In fact, Gretzky only had 5 goals that spring, spanning 21 games. Although he had a league leading 29 assists and 34 points. You have to wonder if that is the first time that Peter Pocklington realized that Gretzky was "a deteriorating asset."

Gretzky opened up the 1988 playoffs with another 4 game goal-less drought to bring the total to 9.

All of which just goes to prove one thing - scoring goals in the Stanley Cup playoffs is an incredibly hard thing to do. Know one knows that more than Wayne Gretzky, who had 122 - the most in hockey history!

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