One of the very rare feats in NHL hockey is scoring 50 goals in 50 games. It is very difficult to accomplish. Nobody around in the NHL media world seems to have noticed, but right now Ilya Kovalchuk has 12 Goals in just 11 Games. He's ahead of a 50 in 50 pace and he is 1/5th of the way to that goal already.
So far in the 2009-2010 season, Kovalchuk has continued to show great personal drive, but now he is benefiting from better linemates and a better team. That translates into more power play opportunities, more defensive attention going to line mates and more empty net situations.
As an individual Kovalchuk has shown tremendous drive since being named team captain back in January of this year. In the calendar year of 2009 Kovalchuk has scored 43 Goals in 53 games--which is short of 50 goals in 50 games pace--but still in the neighborhood.
He's scoring at a higher rate so far in the current season--but maintaining that pace will be very challenging. When you consider that the modern period of NHL hockey is lower scoring than other eras, anyone who even makes a run at 50 goals in 50 games is in the midst of a torrid scoring streak.
The odds are stacked against Kovalchuk maintaining this pace for 40 more games, but it gives us yet another reason to watch this pure goal scorer in coming weeks.