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Introducing… Washington Capitals Gordie Howe Hat Trick Database
Most hockey fans know that a Gordie Howe Hat Trick is a goal, an assist, and a fight in the same game. It’s also no secret that Gordie Howe only achieved the feat twice in his illustrious career, but that’s a separate subject.
Since the GH3 isn’t an official NHL stat, it’s been difficult to find accurate information on it. But late last year, the NHL published its historical box scores, which included penalty minutes.
So, how many do the Caps have? The answer is 43, plus 4 in the playoffs. For comparison, Rick Tocchet had 18 on his own, while Brendan Shanahan and Brian Sutter had 17. In more recent years, Jarome Iginla racked up 11. So, the Caps as a franchise aren’t big on the GH3.
The Caps’ all-time leader is Dennis Maruk, with four. “I do not remember them at the time, it was just part of the game,” Maruk told Caps Outsider. “Important that we won the game.”
“I don’t remember it!” said Paul Mulvey. “I must have been on the losing round of the fight.”
Others remember them differently. “Yeah we made a big deal of it!” said Craig Laughlin, who played when they were more common.
Seven different Caps rookies did it, including Alan May, who remembers his assist came on Nick Kypreos’s first career goal, and also remembers the fight. The last rookie to do it for the Caps was Dmitri Khristich, who only had two career NHL fights. Mike Green also did it – in the playoffs – in his first (of three) NHL fights.
Dale Hunter, believe it or not, didn’t do it in the regular season for the Caps, but twice in the playoffs, and twice more when he was with Quebec. Hunter, however, did have plenty of games where he had a goal, assist, and multiple roughing calls. A few other players had a goal, an assist, and got into a scuffle with a player who got called for fighting, but didn’t receive a fighting major himself.
The highest-point producer for the Caps in a GH3 is Robert Picard, who had a goal and four assists. No Cap had more than two goals in these games. The Caps are 30-9-1 when a player or more has a GH3.
One game in 1981 stands out from the others – three Capitals had a GH3: Maruk, Ryan Walter and Chris Valentine, in a 9-4 loss. Another time, Maruk and teammate Jean Pronovost both got one in the same game.
That said, the Caps haven’t had a GH3 since Troy Brouwer in 2011. While this can partially be explained by the decline of fighting, we’ve also seen that some have been rather fluky, as players like Green and Khristich rarely fight. But seriously, how is Hunter not the Caps’ all-time leader?
Check out all the information here: