Only one player in New York Islanders history has scored 60 or more goals in a single season. That's, of course, Mike Bossy. He did it five times. I bring that up because, on Tuesday, Toronto Maple Leafs sniper Auston Matthews hit 60 goals. He's the first Maple Leaf to ever hit 60 in a season.
So after Matthews hit 60 it got me thinking about the Islanders who had hit 60 (or more) and those who came oh so close. Specifically, the ones who came close.
New York Islanders almost 60-goal seasons
Only two players not named Mike Bossy even came close to hitting that 60-goal mark. I want to focus on them. Those two players were Pierre Turgeon hit 58 goals in 1992-93 and before him, it was Pat LaFontaine who hit 54 in 74 games during the 1989-90 season.
Pat LaFontaine - 1989-90
So again, in the 1989-90 season, Pat LaFontaine hit 54 goals through 74 games. A 0.73 goal-per-game pace that would have seen him hit 58 over a, then, 80-game season.
Through a two-month-long stretch of the season (November 16 to January 11), LaFontaine scored an insane 26 goals in 24 games. Converting on 25% of his shots. He was, without question, the hottest goal scorer in that stretch:
That scoring run was capped off with an 8-4 win over the Minnesota North Stars where LaFontaine scored the Isles' seventh goal and added another five helpers for a six-point night. Only the fourth player to hit six points in a single game in Isles history.
If LaFontaine doesn't miss out six games at the end of February and the beginning of March he might have just been able to hit that 60-goal plateau.
Pierre Turgeon - 1992-93
Before the storied run in the 1993 playoffs came the Islanders' regular season. Where Pierre Turgeon, in his first full year with the Islanders after the LaFontaine swap, scored 58 goals and 132 points. In 83 games.
The end of the year was perhaps his greatest stretch. Through the final 36 games of the 92-93 season, Turgeon puts up 29 goals and 30 helpers for 59 points. That's nearly half of his production on the year in 36 games. WiId.
What was maybe more wild was how Turgeon wasn't even in the top five for goal-scoring that year. He finished sixth. Here's how the top five rounded out that year:
Mogilny: 76G in 77GP (!!!)
Selanne: 76G in 74GP (as a rookie!)
Lemieux: 69G in 60GP (1.15G/GP)
Robitaille: 63G in 84GP
Bure: 60G in 83GP
When you look at his game logs that year you can't help but marvel at his consistency. Turgeon rarely had an off day.