Generally speaking, NHL goaltenders have a basic job, go stand in front of a net and let men shoot 90-mile-per-hour shots at you. Sometimes though, they have a magic stretch and end up in the record books. From fights to shutout streaks and beyond, here are some of the strangest goaltender records in NHL history!
Number 5- Most saves in an NHL game
Sometimes goaltenders have a once-in-a-lifetime game. Ben Scrivens’ 59-save shutout in 2014, Dominik Hasek’s 70-save quadruple overtime winner in 1994, Ron Tugnutt’s 70-save showing in 1991, but none have come close to the NHL record. Over eight decades ago, Red Wings goalie Normie Smith posted a 92-save shutout against the Montreal Maroons in the longest game in NHL history. He posted that shutout for 176 minutes and 30 seconds, almost three full game lengths. His record may never be broken in the NHL. Worth noting Phantoms goalie Alex Lyon made 94 saves during the longest game in AHL history, second only to Michael Leighton’s 98-save five-OT win in 2008.
Number 4- Most consecutive shutouts
At an amazing 332 minutes and one second, Brian Boucher owns the modern NHL record for longest shutout streak at five games. From December 31 to January 9, the Coyotes and Boucher had five straight shutouts before Randy Robitaille of the Thrashers scored at 6:16 of the first period of the game on January 11. Boucher beat the previous streak set by Bill Durnan of the Montreal Canadiens in 1949 by over 20 minutes.
Number 3- Career goals scored on a goaltender
Not only does Martin Brodeur hold the record for most career goals for a goalie with three, he is also the only goaltender to score on an opposing goaltender. Even though it was a technicality, in a game against the Hurricanes in 2013 the Canes were playing on the delayed penalty. Brodeur chipped the puck into the corner and Andrei Lokitonov tried to send the puck to the point, but nobody was there. Goalie Dan Ellis skated back onto the ice as fast as he could, but couldn’t make the save. Since Brodeur was the last Devil to touch the puck and Ellis was on the ice, it was a goal against.
Number 2- Most games without recording a shutout
Starting his NHL career in 1986, goaltender Eldon “Pokey” Reddick played 132 games in six seasons between the Jets, Oilers, and Panthers without ever recording a shutout. The second closest is Jim Hrivnak, who made it 85 games. In his whole NHL career, Pokey only played three full games when he gave up a single goal.
Number 1- Longest unbeaten streak to start a career
If I mention the name Patrick Lalime to you today, most probably wouldn’t remember who he is. Playing 12 seasons in the NHL with five different teams, Lalime holds the distinction of the longest start to a career without a regulation loss. Lalime replaced Penguins starter Ken Wregget on December 6, 1997 after the first period and managed to pull out a 5-3 victory. He would go undefeated for 16 straight games (14 wins, two ties) before suffering his first defeat on January 23 against the Avalanche. During that stretch he recorded his first shutout over the Sharks and a 49-save showing against the Flames.
Most goalies used in a single season- The only three-way tie on this list, the 1989-90 Quebec Nordiques, 2002-03 St. Louis Blues, and the 2007-08 LA Kings all used seven goalies, but for different reasons. The Blues burned through their starting duo early in the season, whereas the Nords and Kings were relying on aging veterans as their young star goalies were developing.
*update: On February 1, 2019, Cam Talbot started a game for the Philadelphia Flyers, making him the eighth goalie the Flyers used during the season, a new record.
Most goalies used in a playoff series– This record belongs to the 1985-86 Winnipeg Jets who used four in the first round of the 1986 playoffs. It is even crazier when you consider the Flames swept the Jets in three games. Dan Bouchard started game one before being pulled in favor of Brian Heyward after allowing three goals. Heyward would start game two, but was pulled after allowing six goals and replaced by Marc Behrend. Daniel Bertiaume started game three, but the Jets lost in overtime and the Flames won the series.
Most PIM by a goalie in a single season– Shouldn’t be much of a surprise that Ron Hextall owns this record. After recording two straight seasons with 104 penalty minutes, Hextall broke his own record during the 1988-89 season with 113. Nobody really comes close to any of Hextall’s three 100-plus minutes, as Tom Barrasso is the runner-up with 70 PIM.
By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
photo credit: Brian5or6.com