John Vanbiesbrouck set what was the Philadelphia Flyers’ shutout streak record at 227 minutes and 40 seconds in 1999, but that run is now a thing of the past. Red-hot goalie Ilya Bryzgalov extended his streak to at least 228 minutes tonight in a game that is still going on against the New York Islanders.
Naturally, the focus then shifts to the modern NHL record. Oddly enough, a former Flyers goalie holds that mark, as Brian Boucher set it at 332 minutes and one second with the Phoenix Coyotes in 2004.
The Flyers are currently up 3-0 on the Islanders with a little more than a period to go. Breezy still has quite a ways to go to flirt with Boucher’s modern-day record, but let there be no doubt that Philly is ecstatic that he’s even in the conversation right now.
Retro-inspired sweaters already add a nostalgic feel to Winter Classic games, but nothing brings the sentimentality quite like alumni games. Still, there’s always a sense of sadness when a fan favorite can’t make it (paging Wayne Gretzky). Luckily, Adam Rotter passes along comforting news: Mike Richter will play for the New York Rangers’ side in the upcoming 2012 Winter Classic alumni game.
There is a caveat, though: he won’t play as a goalie.
Sure, that’s a bummer, but his reasoning is sound. Richter had to hang up his pads because of concussion issues and has some concern about possible risks related to playing that position – even in a friendly contest. As Rotter says, “Any Mike Richter is better than no Mike Richter,” though.
Really, the saddest thing might be that Dan Blackburn will be one of the Rangers’ goalies (alongside John Vanbiesbrouck). In a fairer world, Blackburn would still be an active NHL goalie, instead.
It’s your daily dose of Winter Classic alumni game chatter.
The other day we opined about how the alumni game would go from “fun and nostalgic” to “truly great” if Wayne Gretzky would join in on the festivities on December 31st.
Leave it to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun to go and talk to Gretzky himself and destroy all of our hopes and dreams.
As it turns out, Gretzky will be hanging out with his family for the holidays and for some bizarre reason, he thinks that no one wants to see him out on the ice.
“No, I’ll be with my family for the holidays,’’ Gretzky said. “Plus, they don’t need to see a 50-year-old slow guy out there!’’
It’s all right Wayne, seeing Mario Lemieux in Pittsburgh last year playing with the Penguins alumni wasn’t one of the coolest things we got to see or anything. In all seriousness, it’s good for 99 to stick by his family and spending the holidays in Philly is something weirdos like us would want to do.
While it’s expected that guys like Brian Leetch, Mike Richter, and Mark Messier would likely take a shot at playing in this game, getting an assortment of other characters in Rangers history would be fun too. Let’s make it a mish-mash of old crowd favorites and free agent pick-ups that didn’t pay off.
Bring us Tie Domi, Marty McSorley, John Ogrodnick, John Vanbiesbrouck and Bobby Holik. Hell, bring us Jeff Beukeboom too.
Most of all, bring us Pavel Bure. Make it an event New York, you’ve got the host of names to pull it off.