An NHL player can get a lot done in 56 games. Pittsburgh Penguins rookie defenseman John Marino earned a long-term contract extension in 56 games last season. Anaheim Ducks star Ryan Getzlaf tallied 61 points in 56 games in the 2017-18 season.
The NHL’s 2020-21 regular season has been shortened to 56 games due to its late start date (Jan. 13) and the impact COVID-19 has had on travel and attendance. It’s the shortest regular season since 2012-13, which was whittled down to 48 games after the owners locked out the players.
The leading scorer that season was Martin St. Louis, with 60 points. The leading goal-scorer was Alex Ovechkin, with 32 tallies. Without the benefit of 82 games, the NHL’s collection of season-scoring records are likely safe.
But what about scoring and goaltending benchmarks for 56 games?
Courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau’s data, ESPN looked into the best 56-game runs for goal-scoring, point-producing and stopping the puck in NHL history, within a single season. Elias Sports Bureau also dug up some modern standards for 56-game stretches, with the best performances of the past 20 years.
Can the stars of the 2020-21 NHL season match or surpass these performances? Will records still fall in a 56-game season? Let’s take a look.