Tag: franchise records


Sidney Crosby gives Pens another quick lead


Sidney Crosby scored the first goal of the 2012 playoffs on Wednesday night as he fired a backhand shot over Ilya Bryzgalov’s glove less than four minutes into Game 1. The Pittsburgh Penguins’ captain didn’t even wait that long to make it 1-0 against the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 2, as he fired home a bombastic one-timer just 15 seconds in.

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Crosby’s lightning-fast goal ties Greg Malone (Ryan’s dad, by the way) as the fastest in team playoff history, by the way.

Naturally, the other half of the story is the natural questions that will come about Bryzgalov’s state of mind – even if it’s kind of tough to fault him for that tally. (And just as this post was about to publish, Chris Kunitz deflected a puck by Bryzgalov, making it 2-0.)

Then again, many of the Detroit Red Wings’ goals were of the variety that not many human netminders could stop, but that didn’t stop from Breezy looking awful at times in the last two playoff series. His Phoenix Coyotes teams had a tendency to fall behind – particularly in last year’s ugly sweep – but the only bit of good news is that the Flyers obviously have more firepower to make comebacks. They’re also flat-out used to coming from behind; Sam Carchidi points out that this is the ninth time the Flyers have been down 2-0 in the last 14 games.

To give you a little perspective on Crosby’s already-impressive body of work in the playoffs, try this on for size: his 32 career postseason goals ties Ron Francis for fourth all-time in Penguins franchise history.

Comparing Smith’s shutout streak to Boucher’s record run

Mike Smith, Ryan Russell

Martin Brodeur owns the all-time shutout records, but for single-season deals, the Phoenix Coyotes are filling up the record books. Brian Boucher became the unlikely record holder for the league’s modern shutout streak at a whopping 332 minutes in 2003 while Mike Smith made the most saves (54) in any regulation shutout on Tuesday. That goose egg was just the historical exclamation point on a great three-game shutout streak that continues into Thursday, so it only makes sense that NHL.com’s Jerry Brown decided to compare the two.

Here are some of the highlights from Brown’s findings:

  • Despite needing two more shutouts (and more than 100 minutes worth of scoreless time) to pass Boucher, Smith has amazingly already made more saves (157) during his streak than Boucher (147) did during his.
  • To put that run in perspective – and raise Dave Tippett’s blood pressure – Smith has faced 45.3 shots per game in the last three contests, so it’s not exactly like he’s easing into those shutouts.
  • That trio gives Smith eight shutouts on the season, tying a Coyotes franchise record.
  • Let’s not forget that his great run is coming when Phoenix needs it the most. The Coyotes aren’t yet guaranteed a playoff spot, but if they end up in the postseason for the third straight year, it’ll be because they’re so tough to score on. Credit Tippett all you want but Smith is worthy of praise.

Speaking of praise, Tippett gushed about his goalie, even if he isn’t ecstatic about the defense in front of him.

“Smitty’s been unbelievable. Time after time, he’s made big saves for us and it’s been an incredible run,” Tippett said. “But this is three games in a row now. Right now, thinking about (winning) the division should be an afterthought. If we’re going to have any chance at all, we have to play better as a group. A lot of other guys need to jump in. We have to dig a little deeper. We’re going to have to figure out some things, like lineup changes.”

Perhaps Sean Burke deserves a portion of the credit for the Coyotes not even missing a beat – if not getting stronger – in net after Ilya Bryzgalov’s high-profile departure.

Whenever Smith’s streak ends, it’ll likely be an impressive achievement – and he might just make a little more history in the process.

Jonathan Quick sets new Kings record with 9 shutouts

Jonathan Quick

The funny thing about the Los Angeles Kings overall-disappointing (playoff berth or not) regular season is that they’ve gotten the one thing that’s been missing for a huge chunk of their franchise history.

For those who are uninitiated, the Kings have had their highs and lows, but rarely have they enjoyed stellar goaltending – even in their better moments. One cannot totally separate his accomplishments from the great defense in front of him, yet Jonathan Quick might just be that franchise goalie Kings fans have always dreamed of.

That possibility was made reasonable on Wednesday night as Quick shut out the Calgary Flames to helping Los Angeles win the Sutter Bowl against the Calgary Flames 3-0, breaking the Kings’ single-season shutout record with nine and greatly improving their playoff chances in the process.

It’s simple to say that Quick has done everything for the Kings, but that’s not totally fair. One could see that the team’s tight defensive system bolsters his numbers – and perhaps inhibits the group’s offensive talent to an extent in the process – yet his stats are undeniably impressive.

His win-loss record won’t impress Vezina Trophy voters attached to old standards, but make no mistake about it: Los Angeles wouldn’t even be in the playoff chase if Quick wasn’t standing on his head.

Video: Stamkos breaks Lightning season record with 53 goals

Steven Stamkos
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With 172 goals in his first 318 career regular season games, 22-year-old star Steven Stamkos seems primed to finish his career among the NHL’s greatest goal scorers. He already grabbed a piece of Tampa Bay Lightning franchise history in the process.

After fanning on a shot, Stamkos made no mistake about his second attempt, beating a hopeless Ilya Bryzgalov with just .6 seconds left in the second period of tonight’s 5-3 win to earn his league-leading 53rd goal of 2011-12. Stamkos isn’t just beefing up his Maurice Richard Trophy lead, though, as that tally gave him the Lightning’s single season goal-scoring record.

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It seems fitting that Stamkos broke Vincent Lecavalier’s record (52 goals set in 2006-07) because in many ways, the 22-year-old has been the kind of player worthy of the hype that Lecavalier carried into the NHL.

That’s not to take away from Lecavalier’s own work, but Stamkos is shaping up to be the best center the club’s ever employed. (Beating out Martin St. Louis as the best overall forward would be an even bigger challenge, however, as the small winger has put up fantastic seasons even when Vinny and the rest of the team has been disappointing.)

Stamkos’ 53rd tally came on the power play, yet he’s made it clear that he can score more than just the faceoff circle one-timer that admittedly remains a fearsome play. Only 11 of his tallies have come on the man advantage this season, which provides evidence that Stamkos’ offensive game has plenty of dimensions.

That’s great news for a Bolts franchise that needs it and a scary thought for all the teams who must fathom the thought of dealing with 10 or more years of dangerous Stamkos snipes.

Here are overall highlights of the Lightning win:

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Stephen Weiss on verge of playing most games in Panthers history

Florida Panthers v Colorado Avalanche

One of the bullet points of the slew of Rick Nash trade rumors is that he’s been stuck with a sad sack franchise for his entire NHL career.

Then again, at least he’s been to the playoffs (albeit in a humiliating sweep) in his time with the Columbus Blue Jackets. The same can’t be said for Stephen Weiss, who’s been through thin and really thin with the Florida Panthers.

The 28-year-old center is amid his 10th season in the league, with every single minute coming with the Panthers. To some, that might be considered the equivalent to a hockey prison sentence, but Weiss is striving to make a difference for the team. He’s also on the verge of a nice little milestone, as the Miami Hearld’s Robbie Levin points out that Weiss is one appearance away from playing more games (614) than any player in franchise history.*

Much like his idol Steve Yzerman, the fourth overall pick of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft hopes to stick with the same franchise for his entire career.

“It’s been a long road,” Weiss said. “But for the most part, I’m very happy to still be here and seeing this team get closer to where it needs to be.”

With all the prospects that GM Dale Tallon has stockpiled, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Weiss get rewarded for his patience with a steady stream of playoff appearances. In fact, that could even start in 2011-12.

Weiss’ career

Games Played: 613; Goals: 137; Assists: 237; Points: 374; -4 with 274 penalty minutes and 21 game-winning goals.

Zero playoff games.

* – Weiss is set to break his tie with Radek Dvorak for the franchise mark.