If you like franchise records, milestones, all-Canadian matchups and former teammates dropping the gloves, then Friday night in the NHL was the night for you.
Here are five things we learned.
Jones breaks franchise record in fourth game with Sharks…
One of the best off-season acquisitions made by any team was the San Jose Sharks sending a first-round pick to the Boston Bruins for netminder Martin Jones. The 25-year-old showed promise when he was with the Los Angeles Kings, but there’s no way he was going to supplant Jonathan Quick as the starter. Jones and his Sharks beat the New Jersey Devils 2-1 in a shootout Friday and he made some history in the process.
Alex Stalock set a Sharks franchise record for longest shutout streak in early 2014 with 178:55 of goalless hockey. On Friday, Jones beat that time. The North Vancouver native allowed a goal 1:49 into the first period of the season opener last week and then turned into a brick wall until Adam Henrique tipped in a Damon Severson shot with 3:38 to go in regulation Friday. Jones’s shutout streak lasted a whopping 234:33. The NHL record is 332:01, which was set by Brian Boucher during the 2003-04 season.
Bobrovsky playing with zero confidence…
Earlier this week, Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky was quoted as saying, “I have zero confidence right now. It’s a tough time.” Well, that lack of confidence was painfully obvious in a 6-3 loss to the Maple Leafs. Bobrovsky allowed five goals on 30 shots and they weren’t all highlight-reel tallies either.
Bobrovsky and the Blue Jackets fell to 0-5 and the 2013 Vezina winner now has a paltry .835 save percentage and 5.07 goals-against average.
“I don’t think we’ve defended as a unit,” Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen told Hockey Central at Noon prior to Friday’s game. “[Allowing that many goals against] doesn’t happen because of one person. It happens because you don’t defend well as a unit.”
McGinn makes an immediate impact…
Carolina Hurricanes rookie Brock McGinn already has one of the best names in all of hockey despite only playing one NHL game. His name, however, wasn’t the most impressive detail of his NHL debut. McGinn scored on his first shift, just 55 seconds into his first NHL game. McGinn also added an assist on an Eric Staal goal and the Hurricanes beat the Red Wings 5-3.
McGinn’s brothers also scored relatively early into their NHL careers, but not quite as quickly as Brock. Jamie McGinn scored in his second game, while Tye McGinn got his first in his third game.
Maple Leafs give Babcock his first win and the game puck…
Mike Babcock had 786 wins as head coach of the Detroit Red Wings and Friday he got his first with his new team. His players acknowledged the accomplishment by giving him the game puck. The Leafs are now 1-2-1 on the season and Babcock hopes this first win is a sign of things to come.
Byfuglien channels Ovi…
For a while it looked like Karri Ramo was going to rebound from a terrible season debut and lead the Calgary Flames to a win, or at least a single point, against the Winnipeg Jets. Dustin Byfuglien had other ideas. With the score tied at one apiece late in the third, Byfuglien charged into the Flames zone and glided by Dennis Wideman after a nifty between-the-legs move and snuck the puck by Ramo with 88 seconds remaining in regulation.
The goal was challenged after the Flames thought Byfuglien might have put himself offside. Byfuglien’s skates crossed the blue line before the puck did, but he had clear possession of the puck, so the goal stood. The move was similar to the one Alex Ovechkin pulled off last week.