They say that all good things come in threes.
For any player that is able to earn himself three goals in a night, he also might just earn a shower of hats from the faithful fans. That is, if he has a great night in the right building.
But the privilege of hats is only granted to a select few players. Some players, by virtue of their role on a team, might never record a hat trick in their entire career. That hardly means their play is unworthy.
So let's look at some of the types of hat tricks in the NHL.
1. The Standard Hat Trick
Well, this one is easy enough. Drain three goals and let it rain!
2. The Gordie Howe Hat Trick
The one has been around since the Stone Age, but it has remained unchanged since then. You need a goal, an assist, and a scrap. It's a display of skill, finishing, and toughness.
Not for a player who doesn't like to roll around in mud or for the guy who might just leave his stick and gloves on the bench. Just in case. Are you up for Gordie's challenge?
3. The Mario Lemieux Hat Trick
Le Magnifique was not only one of the finest players to ever play in the NHL, but he was also wonderfully well rounded. He was a force in any situation. So, he was played in any situation. Bag an even strength goal, a power-play goal, and a short-handed goal. For Lemieux, no problem. Let's see it, sparky.
4. The Joe Thornton Hat Trick
You need a good partner for this hoe-down. Get three assists and you've got yourself a Thornton Hat Trick. Because you know you can't put the puck in the net yourself, the "A" is all you'll get. And maybe some celebratory hats.
5. The Alexander Ovechkin Hat Trick
Goals scored in a shootout have never counted towards a players' season total. Quite honestly, because if Marek Malik can score in the one-on-one dance, so can you. But no! Score two goals in regulation and add another in the shootout and you've got the Ovechkin hat trick. Now go jump into the glass like you'll never score again!
6. The Alexander Semin Hat Trick
Not to be confused at all with the Ovechkin trick, the Semin hat trick doesn't require you to give as much effort. Especially on defense. Score two goals and pretend like it's easier than walking, then take a lazy hooking penalty.
While your teammates are killing your two minutes in the sin bin, make sure to look around as if you're still confused why you're in the box.
7. The Dave Schultz Hat Trick
Every team needs a tough guy, and Schultz led the league in penalty minutes five different times. So what other way could there be? A minor penalty, a fighting major, and a game misconduct should do it. As you walk down the tunnel and the crowd fires hats onto the ice, make sure to give an opposing fan the one-finger salute.
8. The Colton Orr Hat Trick
The man will fight with anyone. But one man in particular is ideal. A point, a hit, and a fight with Eric Godard will do the trick. The hit will be easy. The point is a little more challenging. Finding Eric Godard is a piece of cake. En garde!
9. The Eric Godard Hat Trick
The man will fight with anyone. But one man in particular is ideal. A point, a hit, and a fight with Colto...wait a minute. Ah, never mind. You get the idea.
10. The Fourth-Liner's Hat Trick
When you aren't a playmaker, you play on the second line. When you aren't a sharpshooter, you play on the third line. When you aren't that great with skates or a stick, you play on the fourth line.
But never fear, you can still be useful-ish. Get credit for an own-goal, block a shot, and play under five minutes of ice time. Wait, that was your first career goal? Well here's that puck they put in their own net.
Bonus: The Pierre McGuire Hat Trick
This one is easy. Talk about the Red Wings, talk about Mike Babcock, and then talk about Ken Holland, all in less than 45 seconds. It has to be done during a Chicago Blackhawks game. Throw in a five-minute fighting major to complete the hat trick, because McGuire hates scrapping.
Any other ideas? Let's hear them!