SI: Did you ever think you could score 50 goals in 39 games?
Wayne Gretzky: No. [Oilers defenseman] Kevin Lowe and I were driving to the game that night. I was a little bit more unruly than normal. He said, "What are you nervous about?" I said, "I can't get this close to 50 in 50 and not produce. I'll look really bad. I didn't want to embarrass myself."
SI: What were your first thoughts when you scored the 50th goal, the fifth of the night?
WG: The first thing I thought: I have a chance to get 100 goals. I was always disappointed that I ended with 92.
December 14, 2015
SI: Your parents weren't at the game, because you told them you didn't think it was going to happen. What was the first thing they said to you afterward?
WG: "What took you so long?" That was exactly what my dad told me.
SI: Have people forgotten about you as a goal scorer?
WG: I called [Sirius XM analyst] Matthew Barnaby the other day and gave him s---about that: You guys don't ever say I'm a goal scorer! But I don't know. If somebody said, I watch Wayne Gretzky play, and he plays so hard, that's all I really cared about. I tried to play the best I could every single game. The fact that people don't look at me as a goal scorer—I don't worry about that.
SI: Do you miss coaching?
WG: No. I loved it. I'm glad I did it. Great group of kids. I probably would've been a better coach if I could've coached the Oilers in the '80s.
SI: Who are your favorite players to watch?
WG: I think Sidney Crosby is the best player in hockey. I think Alex Ovechkin is an animal. I think Steven Stamkos is special. The best player in the next two years will be Connor McDavid.
Fastest To 50 Goals
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]
|WAYNE GRETZKY||39 GAMES||1981--82|
|MARIO LEMIEUX||46 GAMES||1988--89|
|BRETT HULL||49 GAMES||1990--91|