January 10 — Goalie Streaks & Jumbo Joe’s Numbers

Yesterday’s NHL Scores

Last Night’s News 📰

WALKING KANE: On Saturday, the San Jose Sharks placed forward Evander Kane on unconditional waivers with the intent to terminate his contract. Kane has been the subject of numerous off-ice storylines and has not appeared in any games for the Sharks this season. He has eight points in five games with the American Hockey League’s San Jose Baracuda and plans to challenge the action by filing a grievance.

BERGE-AGAIN: It took six weeks for Marc Bergevin to find himself back in the NHL. A month and a half after being fired by the Montreal Canadiens, the Los Angeles Kings announced Sunday that Bergevin is now a senior advisor to general manager Rob Blake. 

FUCALE FEELING: Over the weekend, Washington Capitals goaltender Zachary Fucale broke the NHL record for the longest shutout streak to begin a career. Fucale set the record in the second period against the Minnesota Wild on Saturday and did not give up his first goal until 35 seconds left in the game. The Wild eventually won the game 3-2 (Washington scored on itself on a delayed penalty call) in a shootout, even with Fucale making saves like these

DESERT FLOWER: Marc-André Fleury became the first goaltender in the Seattle Kraken era to defeat all 32 NHL teams, as the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Vegas Golden Knights 2-1 in the Flower’s return to the desert. Fleury spent four seasons in Vegas after being selected by the Golden Knights in the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft before being traded to the Blackhawks this offseason.

LAST-MINUTE VICTORY: Brayden Holtby was 47 seconds away from his first shutout on the season when Ryan O’Reilly and Jordan Kyrou struck on back-to-back power plays to give the St. Louis Blues a 2-1 victory over the Dallas Stars. Kyrou recorded an assist on O’Reilly’s goal to extend his point streak to five games before notching the game-winner. It was the 11th time in NHL history—and first for St. Louis—that a team won when trailing with one minute remaining. 

RALLY MONKEY: In honor of Angels Night on Sunday, the Anaheim Ducks brought in the unofficial mascot of Major League Baseball’s Los Angeles Angels to drop the ceremonial opening faceoff. The Rally Monkey, a white-haired capuchin named Katie, posed for photos, greeted Ducks players as they arrived, and dropped the puck. Anaheim won 4-3 in a shootout over the Detroit Red Wings, as Lukáš Dostál made 33 saves in his NHL debut

Goalies Gone Streaking

On Saturday, Washington Capitals goaltender Zach Fucale broke the NHL record for longest shutout streak to start a career. Before Mats Zuccarello scored with 35 seconds remaining in Washington’s 3-2 overtime loss to the Minnesota Wild (the first Wild goal was put into the net by the Capitals on a delayed penalty and did not count against Fucale), the 26-year-old rookie had gone 138 minutes and 31 seconds without giving up a goal. Let’s take a look at the goalies he passed over the weekend.

Matt Hackett (102:48)

Hackett was drafted 77th overall by the Wild in the 2009 NHL Draft and made his NHL debut with Minnesota on Dec. 6, 2011, coming in for starting goaltender Josh Harding 1:11 into the game. The Ontario native stopped 34 of 34 shots in a 2-1 road win over the San Jose Sharks. Two days later, he made his first career start, making 42 saves in a 4-2 road win over the Los Angeles Kings. He held the Kings off the board until 3:59 into the third period.

Matt Hackett, Minnesota Wild. (Brace Hemmelgarn/US PRESSWIRE)

Hackett played in 12 games during the 2011-12 season, posting a 2.38 goals-against average (GAA) and a save percentage (SV%) of .922. He lasted three more years in the league, appearing in one game for Minnesota in 2012-13 and 13 total for the Buffalo Sabres in 2013-14 and 2014-15.

Dave Gatherum (100:21)

On Oct. 11, 1953, the 21-year-old Gatherum made his NHL debut, starting for the Detroit Red Wings in place of the injured Terry Sawchuk. Gatherum shut out the Toronto Maple Leafs in a 4-0 Red Wings win. On Oct. 16, he started again, holding the Chicago Blackhawks scoreless until early in the third period of a 2-2 tie.

The Ontario native was back to work the next night against Chicago, a 5-1 Red Wings win. He never played another game in the NHL, though he got his name on the Stanley Cup as a member of Detroit’s 1953-54 postseason roster.

Marcel Paille (99:52)

The Quebec-born Paille made his NHL debut on Nov. 2, 1957, when his New York Rangers hosted the Boston Bruins. The 24-year-old turned away all 23 shots he faced in a 5-0 Rangers win. He started the next night against the Blackhawks, making 39 saves in a 3-2 win. Chicago’s Ed Litzenberger scored late in the second period, ending Paille’s career-opening scoreless streak just shy of 100 minutes.

Paille started 33 games during the 1957-58 season, posting a 3.09 GAA and .908 SV%. He played seven seasons in the NHL, all with the Rangers. He finished with a 3.43 GAA and .896 SV% in 107 career games.

Kenneth Appleby (94:24)

The only active player on this list besides Fucale, Appleby signed with the New Jersey Devils as an undrafted free agent in 2015. His NHL debut came on Jan. 20, 2018, in Philadelphia, where he replaced starter Keith Kinkaid in the first period after three quick Flyers goals. Appleby stopped 24 of 24 shots in a 3-1 Devils loss. He came in for Cory Schneider three days later, stopping four of four shots in 18:32 of ice time in a 3-2 road loss to the Boston Bruins.

Ken Appleby #55, New Jersey Devils – January 20, 2018 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

On Jan. 25, 2018, Appelby got his first career start at home against the Nashville Predators. P.K. Subban ended his scoreless streak 9:48 into the second period of a 3-0 Predators win. The Ontario native stopped 27 of the 30 shots he faced. Like everybody on this list except Paille, Appleby has spent most of his career in the minors. He currently plays for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, the AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders.

Joe Thornton: By the Numbers

Last week, Florida Panthers forward Joe Thornton became the sixth player in NHL history to appear in 1,700 games. Jumbo Joe has had a thorough career, including the honors of being the captain of both the Boston Bruins and San Jose Sharks. Let’s break down his lengthy and successful career by the numbers.

1997: Year the Bruins drafted Thornton. Jumbo Joe has been playing professional hockey in the NHL for as long as Connor McDavid has been alive. Throughout his 24-year career, he has played for the Bruins, Sharks, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Florida Panthers. 

1,535: Number of NHL points Thornton currently has. His best season was with the San Jose Sharks in the 2006-07 campaign, where he earned 114 points in 82 games. He is currently 12th on the NHL all-time points leaders and only needs 56 more to pass Phil Esposito and crack the top-10.

804: He remains the leader in assists for the Sharks with 804, a record that seems unlikely to be broken anytime soon. He ranks 11th overall in franchise assists leaders for every NHL team, with two more assists than Mike Modano’s record with the Dallas Stars.

2: Number of NHL awards Thornton has received. 2006 was a big year for the London, Ontario, native, who received the Art Ross and Hart Trophies. During the 2005-06 season, he was traded from the Bruins to the Sharks, making him the only player in NHL history to win both awards while switching clubs.

1: Olympic gold medal in his trophy case. Thornton was part of Team Canada at Vancouver in 2010. On a line with his San Jose teammates Dany Heatley and Patrick Marleau, the 6-foot-4 forward scored a goal and registered an assist over seven games. It was his second Olympic appearance as a member of Team Canada. 

0: Surprisingly, a player who played for 24 seasons has not won a Stanley Cup, but that is the case for Thornton. He got close in 2016 with the Sharks but lost in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Pittsburgh Penguins. At 42 years old, he is still chasing the ultimate prize, and with the Panthers ranked as the top team in the league, it seems this could be his last shot. 

Playing Matchmaker – GM Vacancies

The Montreal Canadiens, Vancouver Canucks, and Anaheim Ducks are all currently in the middle of searches to find a full-time fit for their vacant GM roles, but that’s where the similarities between the three organizations stop.

In Montreal, Jeff Gorton is looking to hire someone to share in reshaping the Habs’ roster while navigating the tricky cultural waters that surround the iconic franchise. Out west in Vancouver, new head coach Bruce Boudreau’s early success has helped wash away some of the taste of the Jim Benning/Travis Green regime, but they still need a front office anchor. Meanwhile, down in Anaheim, a new decision-maker is required to guide the young Ducks in the wake of Bob Murray’s messy resignation.

Montreal Canadiens – Mathieu Darche

Let’s start by acknowledging that, yes, the person who fills the Canadiens’ GM job under Gorton will assuredly be Francophone. That narrows the candidate list a bit but still leaves viable options. If Gorton wants a ‘yes’ man, he could opt for a young exec like Daniel Briere or old friend and player agent Kent Hughes, who happens to be Montreal-born. But Mathieu Darche checks every box—former Hab with Montreal roots—and would be coming off an impressive stint as Director of Hockey Operations for the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning.

Vancouver Canucks – Laurence Gilman

A crucial part of the brain trust behind GM Kyle Dubas in Toronto, Laurence Gilman has put himself on the radar of many NHL clubs. But the Canucks are already familiar with him, serving as assistant GM under Mike Gillis before being let go due to his affiliation with the Gillis regime. Gilman has a strong relationship with the Aquilini family, as well as the Sedin twins, and represents a seamless transition for Vancouver. 

Anaheim Ducks – Jeff Solomon

Keeping the interim guy in the full-time role might seem like the uninspired choice, but sometimes it’s also the right one. Jeff Solomon’s keen understanding of cap management and player contracts should serve him well, with just nine skaters under contract past this season and Troy Terry and Trevor Zegras needing new deals after this year. Mike Futa, the source of much speculation for the job, would be a solid choice too, but would he wrestle the role away from his long-time LA Kings colleague?

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