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The NHL's Top Solo Goal Scorers

Just as most great rock songs have a solo in the middle, wherein the lead guitarist soaks up the spotlight and lets his creativity take over the stage, so to do the best goal-scorers of the National Hockey League on occasion, when they force a turnover or pick up a loose puck and bury a huge shot after an outstanding individual effort. So which NHL stars punched home the most goals without the help of a playmaking teammate?

Last year, some 364 unassisted goals were scored out of 7,082, leaving solo tallies at about 5% of the overall total. Of those 364, 262 were scored at Even Strength, 31 on the Power Play, and 71 were Shorthanded. Notably, for Jordan Staal of the Pittsburgh Penguins, all four of his solo scores came on the penalty kill - the true sign of an effective and dangerous shorthanded specialist. The following is a list of the leading unassisted goal scorers from last season, along with their overall total, and percentage of total goals that were unassisted.

Top Solo Goal Scorers, 2006/7 NHL Season
Player Solos Tot Goals Pct.
Jere Lehtinen, DAL 5 26 19.2%
Jordan Staal, PIT 4 29 13.8%
Alexander Ovechkin, WSH 4 46 8.7%
Jason Williams, CHI/DET 4 15 26.7%
Alexander Semin, WSH 4 38 10.5%
Alexei Ponikarovsky, TOR 4 21 19.0%
Dan Boyle, TAM 4 20 20.0%
Marian Hossa, ATL 4 43 9.3%
Brendan Shanahan, NYR 4 29 13.8%
Pavel Datsyuk, DET 4 27 14.8%
Pierre-Marc Bouchard, MIN 3 20 15.0%
Ryan Smyth, EDM/NYI 3 36 8.3%
Sidney Crosby, PIT 3 36 8.3%
Shea Weber, NSH 3 17 17.6%
Jason Blake, NYI 3 40 7.5%
Sheldon Souray, MTL 3 26 11.5%
Patrick Eaves, OTT 3 14 21.4%
Erik Cole, CAR 3 29 10.3%
Jason Chimera, CBJ 3 15 20.0%
Sami Kapanen, PHI 3 11 27.3%
Matt Bradley, WSH 3 4 75.0%
Chris Drury, BUF 3 37 8.1%
Kristian Huselius, CGY 3 34 8.8%
Shane Doan, PHX 3 27 11.1%
Simon Gagne, PHI 3 41 7.3%
Ilya Kovalchuk, ATL 3 42 7.1%
Ryan Getzlaf, ANA 3 25 12.0%
Mats Sundin, TOR 3 27 11.1%

Looking through this list we have pretty much a who's-who of NHL offensive stars, and certainly some of these players are on here as a consequence of prolific scoring. For example, when guys like Simon Gagne and Ilya Kovalchuk achieve 40-goal seasons, it's hardly surprising that a handful of them were unassisted. Check out Matt Bradley of Washington, however. He only scored four times all year, but three of those were solo efforts! Seems like there's an outlier in every bunch...

Anyways, after this week's post on Reliance vs. Independence on particular playmakers, I received a few requests to post Unassisted Goal information from last year, so here you go. Enjoy.