Top 10: Top 10 Plays, Number Nine

September 28, 2009 | Comments (0) | by Ginger Russ

This morning I was watching SportsCenter (yes, people do still watch this show) and caught the regular and popular feature, the Top 10 Plays of the Day. It's not an original idea, every sports columnist, show and blogger has their lists of greatness and power rankings. But not the Saloon. This got me thinking, the Top 10 Plays are always the same "types" of plays. Sure, once in a great while you may have a new record in the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest that gets on, or possibly a Nascar highlight, but for the most part you really aren't seeing anything that hasn't been done before. And so I bring to the Saloon a Top 10 list of my own.

9. Hat trick (hockey).

The hat trick is a rare event when a hockey player will score 3 goals in one game, which is a pretty amazing feat when you think about it. The only thing that keeps the hat trick from being higher on the list is that most of America doesn't actually watch hockey, so most people don't realize that the hat trick is so cool that fans will actually throw their $30 hats onto the rink in a show of appreciation, fully knowing that they will never see it again (of course smart fans close enough to the ice will actually bring a backup hat, similar to fans in the bleachers at Wrigley bringing backup balls to throw back in case an opponent hits a home run).

According to Wikipedia, the hat trick's origins vary, and there are there are many variations of the hat trick, including my favorite, a Gordie Howe hat trick, which a player achieves by scoring a goal, getting an assist, and getting in a fight, all in the same game.

Ginger's greatest #9: Mario Lemieux recorded a "5-goal hat trick" (or "ultimate hat trick", "quintella", "Texas Hat Trick", or "Lemieux Cycle") in which he scored in all five possible game situations in one game, on 31 December 1988, against the New Jersey Devils. He scored on a powerplay, short handed, even strength, penalty shot, and an empty net goal.