June 22 — Goals, Goalies & Golden Knights

On Tap For Today — Montreal at Vegas 6 pm PDT; NBCSN, TVAS, SN

Monday’s Moon Shot

REST IN PEACE: Sad news yesterday, as Minnesota Wild assistant general manager Tom Kurvers died Monday after a battle with lung cancer. The former Hobey Baker Award winner was 58 years old, and had been in his current position with Minnesota since 2018.

NO PLACE LIKE HOME: Forward Matt Nieto signed a two-year deal to remain with the Sharks, while forward Blake Comeau reached a one-year deal to stay with the Stars. Both could have become unrestricted free agents on July 28.

KRAKEN INSIGHT: Former NHL player J.T. Brown will be joining the Seattle Kraken as a television analyst, hanging up his skates after an NHL career that spanned seven seasons, including stops in Tampa Bay, Anaheim, and Minnesota. We can’t wait to watch, J.T.!

CRAZY EIGHTS: The Lightning’s 8-0 Game 5 win over the Islanders Monday night was the team’s largest postseason margin of victory in franchise history. Brayden Point scored in his eighth consecutive game, which is the the second-longest streak in NHL history behind Reggie Leach (10 games). Eights are wild!

Trivia Tuesday

Do you know the Vegas Golden Knights?

  1. What was the first jersey number retired by the Golden Knights?
    • #71
    • #61
    • #58
    • #29
  2. Who was the first player to retire as a Vegas Golden Knight?
    • Vadim Shipachyov
    • Jason Garrison
    • Cody Eakin
    • Deryk Engelland
  3. Which player scored the first hat trick in Golden Knights history?
    • David Perron
    • William Karlsson
    • Jonathan Marchessault
    • Max Pacioretty
  4. Who scored the first goal in franchise history?
    • Nate Schmidt
    • Erik Haula
    • Jonathan Marchessault
    • James Neal
  5. What is the Golden Knights record for most goals scored in a game?
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
    • 9

Answers can be found at the bottom of the email.

A Guide to Goalie Gaffes

All is well with the Vegas Golden Knights for now, after Nicolas Roy’s Game 4 overtime winner sent them back to Nevada with their series square at 2-2. Still, it couldn’t have been fun for Marc-André Fleury to watch teammate Robin Lehner get the win, knowing that he would’ve been between the pipes had it not been for his costly and embarrassing Game 3 gaffe.

While it likely won’t provide any great comfort for the Vezina nominee, Fleury is hardly the only netminder to serve up an ill-timed and unfortunate blunder in the postseason. In fact, some of the best goalies of all-time have suffered through glaring flubs in big moments.

Fleury’s mistake offers a chance to look back at some of the more regrettable goalie errors in NHL playoff history. After all, it wasn’t even the three-time Stanley Cup champion’s first major miscue — not that it has damaged his sparkling “big game player” reputation.

Patrick Roy – Game 6, 2002 Western Conference Finals

In an emotional 2002 Western Conference Finals between bitter rivals Detroit Red Wings and Colorado Avalanche, you can’t totally blame Avs netminder Patrick Roy for getting a bit amped up after a huge glove save on Steve Yzerman. However, as Roy looked to proudly display the puck “Statue of Liberty” style, the puck dropped from his glove in front of a waiting Brendan Shanahan.

The goal would be the game winner for Detroit, squaring the series at 3-3 before the Red Wings would close things out in Game 7. Unfortunately for Roy, the error would also mark one of the final chapters of his Hall of Fame career. The long-time Canadiens star would play one more excellent season in Colorado, albeit with a first round exit courtesy of the Minnesota Wild, before hanging up his skates.

Chris Osgood – Game 7, 1994 Western Conference Quarterfinals

While Detroit benefited greatly from Roy’s gaffe, they don’t get off scot-free on this list. Chris Osgood had plenty of standout positive moments for the Red Wings, but one that he’d rather forget helped the San Jose Sharks to a massive upset of his No. 1-seeded Wings. Leaving his crease to play the puck, Osgood flipped a backhand that was intercepted by Jamie Baker inside the blueline, allowing him an easy shot at a wide open net for what would hold up as the game winner.

Osgood would be just fine in the long-run, finishing second in Vezina voting two years later and winning three Stanley Cups with Detroit. Still, it’s hard not to wonder what could have been that year — given that the seventh-seeded Vancouver Canucks ultimately emerged as the Cup finalist from the West.

Dan Cloutier – Game 3, 2002 Western Conference Quarterfinals

Nicklas Lidström is a Hall of Famer and all, but that doesn’t mean he should be scoring on you from center ice. Unfortunately for then-Vancouver Canucks goaltender Dan Cloutier, that’s exactly what happened in Game 3 of the club’s 2002 series against Detroit. It might be an oversimplification to suggest that the whiff cost Vancouver the series, but the Canucks were up 2-0 and — thanks in part to Lidström’s game winner — would drop the next four.

While most goalies on this list were fortunate enough to earn other career achievements that eased the sting of their gaffe over time, Cloutier is still largely defined by the blunder. He backstopped the Canucks to a second round playoff appearance a year later, but he struggled again while posting an .862 save percentage and 3.24 goals against average over 14 games.

Martin Brodeur – Game 3, 2003 Stanley Cup Final

It’s one thing to make a glaring mistake in a significant playoff game, but another matter entirely to do so in a Cup Final. Fortunately for legendary backstop Martin Brodeur, a woefully-timed bout of butterfingers on a bouncing, long-range dump-in off the stick of Anaheim Mighty Ducks defenseman Sandis Ozoliņš didn’t wind up costing his team the biggest prize in the sport.

Yes, the uncharacteristically boneheaded play by Brodeur gave Anaheim the lead in a game they would eventually win in overtime. However, the four-time Vezina winner would take advantage of a chance to redeem himself, shutting out the Mighty Ducks in Game 7 en route to a 3-0 Cup-clinching victory for his third and final championship.

Marc-André Fleury – Game 6, 2008 Stanley Cup Final

That’s right, Friday night’s puck mishandling wasn’t Fleury’s first big playoff miscue. While Penguins fans can easily gloss over low moments for the franchise given how successful the three-Cup Sidney Crosby era has ultimately been, that doesn’t change how crushing it was in the moment when the likable netminder accidentally pushed a loose puck into his own goal for what would be the Cup clincher.

Fleury made the initial save on a shot attempt by a streaking Henrik Zetterberg, but then lost track with the puck underneath him. His attempt to sit on it only served to push the puck further towards the net, giving Detroit a 3-1 lead they would not relinquish. Before you feel too bad for Fleury, remember that he did come back one year later and backstop Pittsburgh to their first of three Cups over nine years.

Fleury was able to bounce back once after a gaffe cost him the Stanley Cup. With speculation that he may be returning to the crease for tonight’s Game 5, the chance to redeem himself may come sooner rather than later.

Trivia Answer

  1. #58 — Vegas Strong
  2. Vadim Shipachyov
  3. William Karlsson
  4. James Neal
  5. 8 Goals

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