Groundhog Day in Edmonton was pretty special, and if Sam Gagner could have his way, we imagine it's a day he won't mind repeating over and over again if need be..
Thursday night at the Rexall Centre it was Star number on, Star number two and Star number three, all belonged to Sam Gagner of the Edmonton Oilers.
Thursday night provided for one of the easiest tasks in three stars history in a number of years, as Gord Miller and Ray Ferraro had a front row seat to the Sam show, as Edmonton's Sam Gagner came as close to bringing back the eighties feel as any Oiler since the days of Gretzky and Coffey.
Gagner, with four goals and four assists tied an Oilers record for points (up there with Wayne and Paul now) and came within range of Darryl Sitlers all time NHL record of ten points in a game, all part of an Oilers point explosion that set the Blackhawks on their heels for a good portion of the night.
Interestingly enough the Hawks actually had more shots on net over the course of the 8-4 loss to Gagner and his Oilers, lost in the bright lights of Gagner's achievement is a bit of credit to Dwayne Dubnyk who overcame that early game blip to shut the door on the Hawks.
By the time the final horn had sounded the Hawks, who seem to have their problems when they play in Edmonton were no doubt glad to be away from the Rexall Centre and the flying hats of a hat trick and celebration of Gagner's eight point night.
It made for a night of scoring magic that will either increase Gagner's trade value by deadline day or take him off the potential trade list in pretty quick fashion.
It was the first eight point night in the NHL since some guy named Mario put together that point total for Pittsburgh back in 1988. In one night, Gagner almost doubled his goal scoring output on the season, heading into Thursday night he had five goals, he's up to nine there with four more points in the assist tables to push him up the Oilers scoring list.
So, hands up, how many picked Gagner in their pre season hockey pools?
Edmonton Sun-- Record night for Oilers' Gagner
Edmonton Sun-- 8 points for Gagner in Oil win
Edmonton Journal-- Gagner records NHL's first eight-point game since 1989
Edmonton Journal-- Magic returns to Rexall Place
Edmonton Journal-- Gagner trends on Twitter
Globe and Mail-- Gagner ties Gretzky's record in Oilers' win
Globe and Mail-- The price just went up for Sam Gagner
National Post-- Sam Gagner ties team record with eight points as Oilers rout Blackhawks
ESPN-- Sam Gagner's audition
ESPN-- Gagner's eight is great, Blackhawks net minding not so much