On the final day of the NHL’s regular season, and the final game at Joe Louis Arena, Riley Sheahan finally scored his first goal — in the 80th game of his campaign.
Just over seven minutes into Sunday’s game versus the New Jersey Devils, Sheahan accepted a pass, made a move to the front of the net and beat Cory Schneider top corner with his shot.
He celebrated with a fist pump before he was mobbed by his teammates.
Sheahan has gone an entire year without scoring. His last goal? April 9, 2016, versus the New York Rangers.
A former first-round pick, Sheahan scored 14 goals last season and 13 the year before. But this has been an incredible drought for the 25-year-old forward, as outlined at PHT earlier today:
In the history of the league (at least as long as shot on goal data has been tracked) there have only ever been 11 players that have played at least 70 games in a season, recorded more than 100 shots on goal, and not scored a goal.
It has never happened to a forward.
Not only has it never happened to a forward, there have only been two forwards that have reached the 70-game, 100-shot markers and only scored one goal — Shawn Thornton in 2009-10, and Tim Jackman in 2011-12. And neither one of them had anywhere near the skill or offensive pedigree that Sheahan has.
“You hope the adversity turns out to be a positive,” Red Wings GM Ken Holland told USA Today. “Maybe it will give him a different perspective on summer training.”