Three goals on three shots.
That is Drew Stafford’s accomplishment of the night, during the Sabres’ 7-4 drubbing of Tampa Bay.
Stafford’s patient climb into the NHL has been a polarizing one for Buffalo fans, who have lamented that the young five-year pro should be further along in his career.
Well, tonight’s performance gave Stafford his third hat trick of the season. Wayne Gretzky scored 10 hat tricks in one season – twice – in the 1980’s, but in Buffalo, Drew is drawing up some of his own history, with 5 career hat tricks.
From the Sabres media guide:
Sabres’ Career Hat Trick Leaders
Rick Martin 21
Gil Perreault 18
Danny Gare/Alex Mogilny 10
Dave Andreychuk 9
Pat LaFontaine/ Miro Satan 6
Rene Robert/Mike Foligno 5
Andre Savard 4
(Four tied at 3)
Drew has joined Rene Robert and Mike Foligno on that list.
I think it’s safe to say he is progressing as hoped. For Sabres numerologists, here’s a nifty video of the trio that he recorded on 1-1-11: