Drew Doughty was drafted five years ago and is only 24 years old, but tonight he’ll be playing in his 400th NHL contest.
“Time has flown by,” Doughty said, as per NHL.com. “It just seems like yesterday I was 18 and I was in my first year in the League. I’ve had so much fun.
“I’ve still got a long, healthy road ahead of me and I’m looking forward to continue it here in L.A.”
Getting to 400 games so quickly was a result of several factors. One, Doughty was taken second overall at the 2008 NHL Entry Draft and debuted right away — during the ’08-09 campaign — on a relatively poor Kings team (34-37-11, 5th in Pacific Division), which afforded him the opportunity for big minutes.
At 19, he averaged a team-high 23:50 per game.
Two, Doughty has been remarkably durable. His only notable injuries were a concussion in 2010 that cost him six games and an upper-body injury in 2011 that cost him four. He appeared in all 82 games during his rookie campaign and all 48 during last year’s lockout-shortened season.
Where Doughty’s feat really stands out, though, is amongst his ’08 draft mates. Doughty got to 400 faster than anyone — Steve Stamkos is stuck on 390 (broken tibia) while Luke Schenn is at 388. Josh Bailey and Zach Bogosian are the only other ’08 draftees to have appeared in 300 NHL contests thus far.
But throw in playoff contests, and Doughty is way out in front. He’s appeared in 50 postseason games, putting him at 450 all told.
“It’s crazy,” Doughty said.
There’s been a lot of movement between Montreal and Saint John’s lately and that continued on Sunday.
This time, it’s forward Daniel Carr who’ll be getting a stint with the big club.
Carr has no prior NHL experience.
The 24-year-old spent four years at Union College before joining the Canadiens organization as an undrafted free agent.
In his first season as a pro, Carr scored 24 goals (led the team) and 39 points in 76 AHL games with the Hamilton Bulldogs in 2014-15.
This year, Carr has seven goals and 15 points in 20 games.
Montreal is without forwards Torrey Mitchell, Brendan Gallagher and Alexander Semin.
Brian Campbell doesn’t score as many points as he used to, but he came up with a huge goal against the Red Wings on Sunday afternoon.
With the game tied, 1-1, in overtime, Campbell skated into the slot and beat Petr Mrazek with a perfect wrister to end the game.
It was also a pretty nice passing play between Jussi Jokinen, Jonathan Huberdeau and Campbell.
Dylan Larkin opened the scoring in the second period before Reilly Smith leveled the score with just over five minutes remaining.
The Wings have blown a lead in three straight games.
Detroit was up 2-0 and 3-2 in their last game, against Edmonton, before they finally closed the game out with an overtime goal by Niklas Kronwall.
They weren’t so fortunate against the Bruins on Wednesday, as they lost 3-2 in OT after leading 2-1 with under two minutes remaining in regulation.
This was the first meeting of the season between Detroit and Florida, but they’ll see each other three times between Feb. 4 and Mar. 19.
You can’t blame Mike Babcock for siding with the relatively unknown when the other option is Jonathan Bernier, a goalie who’s 0-8-1 so far in 2015-16.
With that in mind, meet Garret Sparks, the Toronto Maple Leafs’ expected starter for Monday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers.
Sparks was a seventh-round pick (190th overall) in 2011, a guy who was off to a great start in the AHL. That much wasn’t lost on Babcock.
Let’s face it, though; this is as much about the Leafs’ other two goalies as it is about Sparks (whose name inspired a very obscure reference in this post’s headline).
In Bernier’s case, there’s an “enough’s enough” feel:
Meanwhile, James Reimer‘s not quite healthy enough to play yet, so the window of opportunity is open for Sparks … a little bit.
Sparks will get a chance to make an impression, even if it’s just a small one.
So far, the 2015-16 crop of rookies is living up to the hype, if not exceeding it. Connor McDavid‘s unfortunate injury hasn’t even derailed this year’s crop.
The Detroit Red Wings are watching their own blue chip blossom, as Dylan Larkin is making an instant impact.
No. 71 scored his 10th goal of the season against the Florida Panthers on Sunday, fattening his rookie goals lead.
He still needs five points to match rookie points leader Artemi Panarin, though.