Pick a record, any record. Chances are good that Wayne Gretzky has a number that can match any statistical dominance, including Wilt's 100-point game, Jack's 18 majors or - at the risk of needling baseball - Roger Maris' 61 home runs.

The man regarded as the greatest player in NHL history was in the house last night making his first Philadelphia appearance in the suit-and-tie uniform of an NHL head coach. This is Gretzky's third season behind the Phoenix bench and the young Coyotes are once again outside the playoff bubble looking in.

But whatever difficulties he might be having as a coach could never besmirch his accomplishments as a player. Gretzky, 47 in January, hasn't played since 1999 and he still holds most of the NHL's offensive records.

The subject of his dominance was brought up in the Flyers' locker room yesterday. Adjectives like "ridiculous," "untouchable" and "outrageous" filled the air.

Take the 215 points he had in 1985-86. That's 215!

"In a season? Geez. I have a hard time scoring 30 in a season," Flyers center Danny Briere said humbly before the Flyers' 3-2 loss to the Coyotes. "How was he able to get so much done? How did he get so many points in the time he played? It's amazing. He could have a two-point game and it would have been a bad game for him."

True. Gretzky, listed at 6-foot, 185 pounds, played 80 games that year and averaged 2.68 points per game.

Or how about in 1981, when he scored his 50th goal in just his 39th game? That game was in Edmonton, and the Oilers beat the Flyers, 7-5. Gretzky sealed it with an empty-netter . . . his fifth goal of the game.

"We're at [32] games and to think he was in the mid-40s in goals right now is insane," Mike Knuble said.

Montreal legend Maurice Richard had held the record by needing 50 games for 50 goals.

"I don't think you can compare what Richard did," Gretzky said that night. "He did it in a tough era. But it's going to be better 20 years from now. If life was at a standstill, we'd be nowhere."

Actually, no one's gotten close. That record-setting night also gave him 108 points in 39 games. It has been 10 years since a Flyers player has scored that many in an entire season. Gretzky had 212 that year, which again was not his career high.

"Two-hundred-plus points is just a ton of points," Knuble said, shaking his head. "Guys like Sidney Crosby and Jaromir Jagr score a lot of points, but Wayne was scoring a ton of points."

Sami Kapanen, who once had a Gretzky slap shot buzz right past his ear on the way to the top shelf, invoked the numbers of Mark Messier, the NHL's second-leading all-time scorer behind Gretzky.

"Gretzky has more assists [1,963] than Mark Messier [1,887] has points," Kapanen said, "and Gretzky's still the leading goal scorer [with 894]."

Knuble, 35, was born in Toronto and once watched from the nosebleeds as Gretzky and the Oilers played the Red Wings at Detroit's Joe Louis Arena.

"Guys that are my age, born in the '70s, know that it was an incredible time to be like a 10-year-old in the mid-'80s watching what Wayne was doing," Knuble said. "He revolutionized the game." *