Monday night was a rather light schedule in the National Hockey league with just two games on the docket. However, those contests did provide us with some great saves. Plus, we will take a look at some top-notch goaltending in Philadelphia and a shutout that proved something get better with age.
Kuemper & Demko Provide the Highlights
The Pacific Division could prove to be one of the competitive divisions in hockey this season. Arizona Coyotes and Vancouver Canucks are right in the thick of things with both teams at 15 points after their victories Monday night.
Darcy Kuemper helped the Coyotes erase a 2-0 deficit and hand the Buffalo Sabres their first loss on home ice this season. After giving up a pair of goals early in the first period, Kuemper settled down to make 24 saves.
In the shootout, it came down to Kuemper versus Casey Mittelstadt with the game on the line. Mittelstadt tried to lift a backhand shot over Kuemper, but the goaltender’s glove hand proved to be too quick.
In Vancouver, the Canucks used a five-goal outburst to roll past the visiting Florida Panthers. Midway through the second period, the Panthers were buzzing and trying to make a comeback, but backup goaltender Thatcher Demko stopped the momentum.
The young netminder was able to stay with the puck after Evgenii Dadonov redirected a shot from the point. Then he showed off his great footwork by being able to recover and stop Dadonov’s second attempt off the rebound.
Elliott Coming Up Big in Philly
The Philadelphia Flyers believe they have their future franchise goaltender in Carter Hart, but the youngster is going through some growing pains of late. Hart currently has a 3.33 goals-against average (GAA) and .862 save percentage (SV%). With the 21-year-old struggling, veteran Brian Elliott has stepped up and kept the Flyers’ heads above water.
Elliott’s performance last week earned him Third Star of the Week honors from the NHL. He went 3-0-0 last week with a 2.02 GAA. He stopped 97 of the 104 shots he faced for a .933 SV%.
His week began by shutting down the high-powered Vegas Golden Knights with 33 saves in a 6-2 victory. He followed that up with a 23-save effort in a 4-1 win at the Chicago Blackhawks.
After beating the Columbus Blue Jackets, 7-4, on Saturday, he was called upon for some relief duty on Sunday versus the New York Islanders. Hart was pulled midway through the second period after giving up five goals on just 14 shots. Elliott stepped in and stopped all 19 shots he faced.
The 34-year-old veteran is now 3-1-0 on the season with a 2.28 GAA and .926 SV% and is a great insurance policy to have while Hart continues to adjust and develop.
On This Date: Roloson Nabs One for the Old Guys
Dwayne Roloson was living proof that many goaltenders need plenty of development before they can succeed in the NHL. Roloson did not make his NHL debut with Calgary Flames until he was 27-years-old. He did not let that late start effect up and he played for 14 seasons with Flames, Minnesota Wild, Edmonton Oilers, New York Islanders and Tampa Bay Lightning before retiring at the ripe age of 42.
It was back on this date in 2011 when Roloson made 28 saves in a 1-0 victory over the visiting Winnipeg Jets. It was the 42-year-old’s 29th and final shut of his career. The victory also gave Roloson a perfect 10-0-0 record against the Jets/Atlanta Thrashers franchise at the time. He finished his career against them with an 11-1-2 record, 2.60 GAA, .906 SV% and the lone shutout.
Greg Boysen has been writing about the Chicago Blackhawks since 2010 and has been a site manager for both FanSided and SB Nation. He has been published in The Hockey News and was fully credentialed for the 2013 Stanley Cup Final. Among his various roles with The Hockey Writers are covering the Blackhawks, the AHL, writing the daily “Today in Hockey History” column, serving as a copy editor, and appearing and hosting multiple YouTube shows, including Blackhawks Banter. He is credentialed with the Chicago Wolves, Rockford IceHogs, and Milwaukee Admirals, while also being a regional scout for the NAHL. And, just because his plate isn’t full enough, Greg hosts trivia in the Chicago area two nights a week. For interview requests or to provide topic suggestions, follow Greg on Twitter and reach out.