Tuesday, December 28, 2010
On this date in 1918, Georges Vezina of the Montreal Canadiens became the first goalie in NHL history to be awarded an assist when Newsy Lalonde gathered up the puck after a save by Vezina, skated the length of the ice and scored a goal during a 6-3 Canadiens win over the Toronto Arenas.
It would take 61 years before a goaltender would be credited with scoring a goal, and he never actually shot the puck. That occurred on November 28, 1979 when Rob Ramage of the hapless Colorado Rockies gathered up the puck after a save by the New York Islanders Billy Smith during a delayed penalty call and passed the puck back out of the corner, which unfortunately for the Rockies sailed by his intended teammates and had enough force to continue all the way down the length of the ice and into the Rockies unmanned goal.
It would take eight more years for an NHL goalie to genuinely shoot the puck into the opposing net when Ron Hextall of the Philadelphia Flyers score against the Boston Bruins on December 8, 1987. Hextall later scored again during the playoffs against the Washington Capitals on April 11, 1989.
Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils is the only other goalie to date to have scored twice with a playoff goal in 1997 and a regular season goal in 2000.
Jeff Reese holds the record for most points by a goaltender in a game with three, which he scored on February 10, 1983 while playing for the Calgary Flames.
It should come as little surprise to find out that an Edmonton Oiler holds the record for most points by a goaltender in a season, as well as the career record for most points by a goalie. Those honors belong to Grant Fuhr of the high powered Oilers. His record of 14 points in 1983-84 set the standard which still remains the one to beat more than 25 years later.
While Fuhr certainly earned a number of assists by simply going behind the net and teeing up a dump-in for Paul Coffey to carry up the ice and set up a Wayne Gretzky goal, Fuhr also earned a number of assists by firing the puck up the ice to an open teammate to initiate a rush.
Fuhr career total of 60 points (which includes regular season and playoffs combined) leads all goalies in career scoring, followed by Patrick Roy's 56, who just barely tops the 55 scored by Tom Barasso. Brodeur ranks fourth all time with 44 points, two of which were goals. Mike Vernon's 41 leads both Hextall and John Vanbiesbrouck at 38, with two of Hextall's points coming from his goals.
The rest of the top ten consist of Ed Belfour at 35, Curtis Joseph's 33 and the tenth spot is occupied by both Sean Burke and Dan Bouchard, who are tied at 30. Honorable mention goes to Kirk McLean (29), Andy Moog (28), Bill Ranford (26) and the duo of Mike Palmateer and Tony Esposito with 25 each. Of the 16 goalies listed, only Broduer remains active.
Today's featured jersey is a 1988-89 Edmonton Oilers Grant Fuhr jersey. Fuhr remains the all-time point scoring leader among NHL goalies with 60, four more than the next closest pursuer, and holder of the most points in a season by a goaltender for over 25 years.
Fuhr played 19 NHL seasons and won 403 games with the Oilers, Buffalo Sabres, Toronto Maple Leafs, Los Angeles Kings, St. Louis Blues and Calgary Flames as well as being the Oilers starting goaltender for Stanley Cup championships with the Oilers in 1984, 1985, 1987 and 1988. He also won the Canada Cup in both 1984 and 1987. He also won the Vezina Trophy in 1988 and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2003. Just to be clear, the Vezina Trophy is awarded for puck stopping ability, not goalie scoring exploits!
Here is footage of Broduer's first goal, which came in the 1997 playoffs.
Our final video today is a tribute to Grant Fuhr and a collection of some of his flashiest saves.
Dasherboard: The World Junior Championships had a light schedule yesterday. Slovakia won in 2-1 overtime in their game against the plucky Germans to pull even with the United States with two points in the Group A standings, one point behind Switzerland.
In Group B, the Czech Republic did what was require by shutting out Norway, but the 2-0 score does little to inspire anyone into believing the Czechs will be strong enough to advance to the Playoff Round in light of Sweden's 7-1 drubbing of Norway the day before.
Today's schedule is a full four games, with Switzerland and Finland battling it out in Group A. With three points for a win in international hockey, a win for Switzerland would all but guarantee them a place in the Playoff Round. The day's second game has the Czech Republic hoping to stifle Canada's scoring attack and come away with at least a point or two in the standings. A win for Canada, even if it comes in overtime, will put them in an excellent position to advance with Norway still on their schedule and a likely three points from that game.
Sweden will be facing Russia at Dwyer Arena in the best matchup the smaller rink will see all tournament. A regulation win for Sweden will certainly put the Russians in a bad spot while a win for the Russians keeps them right in the mix in the "Group of Death".
The final game of the day has the United States looking to improve upon their performance in their opening game which went to overtime. A regulation win could very well see them at the top of the group by the end of the day and in a good position to earn one of the coveted byes directly into the semifinals.