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.