Matt Hackett

A tale of two rookie goalies: Matt Hackett and Mike Murphy


Last night showed that being a rookie goalie thrust into action can be both rewarding and a kick in the teeth.

In San Jose, the Minnesota Wild were forced to put Matt Hackett to work after Nick Schultz’s accidental elbow to the head of starter Josh Harding would put him out of action. No problem for Hackett, however, as he wouldn’t allow a goal the rest of the way stopping 29 shots on the way to a 2-1 Wild win.

Being a rookie and being forced to make a debut like that is daunting and can cause most young goalies to melt down. Not so much for Hackett as he’s got NHL bloodlines thanks to his uncle, former NHL starting goalie Jeff Hackett.

As for Carolina’s Mike Murphy, things didn’t go quite as warmly.  When Murphy entered the game with 8:58 to play and the Hurricanes down 6-3 all he had to do was to play out the string. Murphy did just that stopping both shots he saw.

While Carolina made it 6-4 thanks to an Eric Staal goal, Murphy would be pulled for the extra skater when Jarome Iginla added the empty net goal to make it 7-4. Murphy went back in only to see Carolina score two very late goals to cut it to 7-6, thus helping Mike Murphy the goalie of record and earning him a loss before allowing a goal. Elias says that’s the first time in NHL history that’s ever happened.

To chalk it up: Matt Hackett allows no goals and earns a win and becomes a Minnesota hero while Mike Murphy doesn’t allow a goal and becomes a footnote in statistical history. Not bad for a pair of first impressions.

In Jets return, Burmistrov delivers headshot to Bergeron

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Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.

Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:

Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).

The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.

Ducks name Kesler alternate captain

Ryan Kesler
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For the second time in his career, Ryan Kesler is wearing an “A.”

On Thursday, the Anaheim Ducks announced that Kesler would serve as one of the club’s alternate captains this season, taking over for Francois Beauchemin, who signed in Colorado this summer.

With the move, Kesler joins Anaheim’s existing leadership group of captain Ryan Getzlaf, and alternate Corey Perry.

“It’s an honor,” Kesler said, per the Ducks. “It’s special. I’m going to wear it with pride and lead by example.”

As mentioned earlier, Kesler has some experience as an alternate — he wore an “A” in Vancouver from 2008-13, but had it removed prior to the start of the ’13-14 campaign.

It’s not surprising Anaheim went in this direction. GM Bob Murray made a huge investment in Kesler this summer by inking the 31-year-old to a six-year, $41.25M extension.