Tuesday, March 9, 2010

March 9, 1994: Lyle Odelein’s scoring surge

imageYou don’t usually equate former tough-guy defenseman Lyle Odelein to offense, especially on the power play. After all, up to the start of the 1993-94, he only had three goals in 214 regular season games.

But on March 9, 1994, the player ranked 29th all-time in penalty minutes was a scoring machine as he notched three goals, all on the man-advantage, in the Montreal Canadiens 7-2 win over the St. Louis Blues.

A grinning Odelein received a standing ovation, from the Forum crowd, after scoring his third goal of the night on a shot that beat Jim Hrivnak at 15:02 of the third period.

The night was at the peak of his career high offensive season with Montreal, having tallied 5 goals and 13 assists over a 16-game span.

Earlier, he recorded five assists in a February 20 game against Hartford. That mark is a Canadiens franchise record that he shares with Doug Harvey and Sheldon Souray

Much of his success during that span can be attributed to coach Jacques Demers. Frustrated with the Canadiens power play that was dead last at one point that season, the coach decided to use his tough guy on the power play unit back in February.

Odelein finished the season with career highs in goals (11) assists (29), power play goals (6) points (40) and of course penalty minutes (276).

Did you know?: Lyle Odelein’s brother Selmar, was considered the star of the family and was picked No. 1 (21st overall) by the Edmonton Oilers in 1984.

Selmar played just 18 career NHL games with Edmonton, scoring two assists.

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