NHL: 25 Most Dominant Scoring Duos of the Last 50 Years

Tab BamfordSenior Writer ISeptember 30, 2011

NHL: 25 Most Dominant Scoring Duos of the Last 50 Years

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    The National Hockey League has some very impressive groups of scorers in the league today. From Chicago's group of Toews, Kane, Hossa and Sharp to Anaheim's Perry, Getzlaf, Ryan and Selanne, there are a number of teams that have unreal star power up front.

    Not always, though, does a team with one elite superstar putting up huge points, have a second player also rack up an enormous total.

    In this slideshow, we're going to look back at the most dominant rosters of the last 50 years.

    What you will find here are the best point-producing duos since the 1960-61 season. How we determined dominance is the difference between the top point-producing duo and the second-best tandem in the league in that given year.

    Some of the point differences will astound you, and some of the names will make you chuckle.

    Here are the 25 most dominant pairs in the last 50 years.

24T. 1987-88 Edmonton Oilers

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    Top Two Scorers:
    Wayne Gretzky - 149
    Mark Messier - 111
    Total - 260
    No. 2 Total: 247

    Difference: 13 points

24T. 2009-10 Washington Capitals

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    Top Two Scorers:
    Alex Ovechkin - 109
    Nicklas Backstrom - 101
    Total - 210
    No. 2 Total: 197

    Difference: 13 points

23. 1961-62 Chicago Blackhawks

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    Top Two Scorers:
    Bobby Hull - 84
    Stan Mikita - 77
    Total - 161
    No. 2 Total: 146

    Difference: 15 points

22. 1989-90 Los Angeles Kings

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    Top Two Scorers:
    Wayne Gretzky - 142
    Luc Robitaille - 101
    Total - 243
    No. 2 Total: 226

    Difference: 17 points

21. 2008-09 Pittsburgh Penguins

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    Top Two Scorers:
    Evgeni Malkin - 113
    Sidney Crosby - 103
    Total - 216
    No. 2 Total: 198

    Difference: 18 points

20. 1965-66 Chicago Blackhawks

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    Top Two Scorers:
    Bobby Hull - 97
    Stan Mikita - 78
    Total - 175
    No. 2 Total: 155

    Difference: 20 points

18T. 1991-92 Pittsburgh Penguins

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    Top Two Scorers:
    Mario Lemieux - 131
    Kevin Stevens - 123
    Total - 254
    No. 2 Total: 228

    Difference: 26 points

18T. 1974-75 Boston Bruins

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    Top Two Scorers:
    Bobby Orr - 135
    Phil Esposito - 127
    Total - 262
    No. 2 Total: 236

    Difference: 26 points

17. 1972-73 Boston Bruins

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    Top Two Scorers:
    Phil Esposito - 120
    Bobby Orr - 101
    Total - 231
    No. 2 Total: 204

    Difference: 27 points

16. 1997-98 Pittsburgh Penguins

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    Top Two Scorers:
    Jaromir Jagr - 102
    Ron Francis - 87
    Total - 189
    No. 2 Total: 161

    Difference: 28 points

15. 1960-61 Montreal Canadiens

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    Top Two Scorers:
    Bernie Geoffrion - 95
    Jean Beliveau - 90
    Total - 185
    No. 2 Total: 154

    Difference: 31 points

14. 1971-72 Boston Bruins

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    Top Two Scorers:
    Phil Esposito - 133
    Bobby Orr - 117
    Total - 250
    No. 2 Total: 215

    Difference: 35 points

13. 1981-82 Edmonton Oilers

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    Top Two Scorers:
    Wayne Gretzky - 212
    Glenn Anderson - 105
    Total - 317
    No. 2 Total: 276

    Difference: 41 points

12. 1966-67 Chicago Blackhawks

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    Top Two Scorers:
    Stan Mikita - 97
    Bobby Hull - 80
    Total - 177
    No. 2 Total: 135

    Difference: 42 points

11. 1978-79 New York Islanders

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    Top Two Scorers:
    Bryan Trottier - 134
    Mike Bossy - 126
    Total - 260
    No. 2 Total: 215

    Difference: 45 points

10. 1963-64 Chicago Blackhawks

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    Top Two Scorers:
    Stan Mikita - 89
    Bobby Hull - 87
    Total - 176
    No. 2 Total: 129

    Difference: 47 points

9. 1969-70 Boston Bruins

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    Top Two Scorers:
    Bobby Orr - 120
    Phil Esposito - 99
    Total - 219
    No. 2 Total: 151

    Difference: 68 points

8. 1982-83 Edmonton Oilers

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    Top Two Scorers:
    Wayne Gretzky - 196
    Mark Messier - 106
    Total - 302
    No. 2 Total: 229

    Difference: 73 points

7. 1995-96 Pittsburgh Penguins

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    Top Two Scorers:
    Mario Lemieux - 161
    Jaromir Jagr - 149
    Total - 310
    No. 2 Total: 236

    Difference: 74 points

6. 1983-84 Edmonton Oilers

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    Top Two Scorers:
    Wayne Gretzky - 205
    Paul Coffey - 126
    Total - 331
    No. 2 Total: 240

    Difference: 91 points

    Yes, you're reading that correctly. In 83-84, Gretzky had only 35 fewer points than the second-best pair in the NHL.

5. 1973-74 Boston Bruins

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    Top Two Scorers:
    Phil Esposito - 145
    Bobby Orr - 122
    Total - 267
    No. 2 Total: 167

    Difference: 100 points

4. 1986-87 Edmonton Oilers

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    Top Two Scorers:
    Wayne Gretzky - 183
    Jari Kurri - 108
    Total - 291
    No. 2 Total: 178

    Difference: 113 points

    Again, as time passes people begin taking the ridiculousness of Gretzky's numbers for granted. In 86-87, Gretzky had five points more than the second-highest pair of players in the NHL.

3. 1985-86 Edmonton Oilers

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    Top Two Scorers:
    Wayne Gretzky - 215
    Paul Coffey - 138
    Total - 353
    No. 2 Total: 225

    Difference: 128 points

    The point totals put up by the Oilers teams in the mid-1980s are almost laughable. Consider that teams had multiple 100-point players in the same season and they weren't even within 128 points of the Oilers' top tandem.

2. 1970-71 Boston Bruins

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    Top Two Scorers:
    Phil Esposito - 152
    Bobby Orr - 139
    Total - 291
    No. 2 Total: 161

    Difference: 130 points

    If the numbers put up by the Oilers teams are staggering, think about the 1970-71 season in Boston. Four skaters in the entire league had more than 97 points, and they were all in Boston. In fact, the Bruins had seven of the nine-highest point totals in the league.

1. 1984-85 Edmonton Oilers

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    Top Two Scorers:
    Wayne Gretzky - 208
    Jari Kurri - 135
    Total - 343
    No. 2 Total: 209

    Difference: 134 points

    Once again, in the high-flying mid-1980s, Wayne Gretzky was putting up as many points as two of the best producers in the NHL all by himself. The man's career is ridiculous, but this collection of all-time best seasons displays that Gretzky stands with very few peers —Orr and Esposito in Boston, Lemieux in Pittsburgh and Hill and Mikita in Chicago—as a transcendent producer in the history of the game.