On Saturday night, the Calgary Flames and Winnipeg Jets took to the outdoors and made some history. The Boston Bruins accomplished a rare feat versus and old nemesis. Plus, we have a very cool throwback mask and an update on a top goaltending prospect.
Rittich Sets All-Time Outdoor Mark
David Rittich and the Flames came up a bit short in Saturday night’s Heritage Classic as they lost 2-1 to the Jets in overtime. They only reason the Flames got to overtime and earned a point in the standing was because of the play of their goaltender.
At the end of the night, Rittich made 43 saves in the losing effort. This was most saves ever made by a goaltender in an outdoor game. He broke the old record held by Jonathan Bernier, who made 41 saves for the Toronto Maple Leafs against the Detroit Red Wings at the 2014 Winter Classic.
Rask Gets His Revenge
On Saturday night, the Bruins hosted the St. Louis Blues at the TD Garden, marking the first time these two teams had played since Game 7 of last June’s Stanley Cup Final. David Pastrnak scored his league-leading 11th goal of the season, late in the first period, and that was goaltender Tuuka Rask would need.
Rask stopped all 26 shots he faced in a 3-0 victory and his second shutout on the season. The win marked just the seventh time since the 1927-28 season where the defending Stanley Cup champion was shutout by the team they beat in the first meeting of the following regular season.
The last time this happened was in 1986 when Mike Vernon of the Flames shutout the Montreal Canadiens. In a bit of a fun fact, this was the second time this occurrence involved the Bruins and the Blues. Back on Nov. 5 1970, Glen Hall shutout the Bruins, who had knocked off the Blues in the previous Stanley Cup Final.
Markstrom Set to go Retro
The Vancouver Canucks are celebrating their 50th anniversary all season long. The team will be hosting various theme nights to celebrate its history. In December, they will bring back the old “Flying V” sweaters to wear during the pregame skate of 80s Night.
On Jan. 4, the Canucks host their 90s night and wear their “Black Skate” sweaters for their game, appropriately enough, against the New York Rangers. Part of the festivities that night will be honoring the team that wore those sweaters during their run to the 1994 Stanley Cup Final, where they lost to the Rangers.
Goaltender Jacob Markstrom turned to renowned artist David Gunnarsson to design his mask for the special occasion and it is easy to say that he knocked it out of the park!
Oettinger Off to a Great Start in Texas
If you are a fan of either college hockey in the United States or the World Junior Championship, then the name Jake Oettinger is already familiar to you. The 20-year-old netminder has already made a name for himself performing well at Boston University and on the international stage as well.
He played so well that the Dallas Stars invested their first-round pick of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft on Oettinger. The youngster appeared in six AHL games for the Texas Stars at the end of last season to mixed results.
“It was great,” Oettinger said of his time in the AHL last season. “There were a lot of things that were different than playing college, and to get those three weeks under my belt was huge. To get to know the guys and the trainers, just makes my adjustment to pro hockey that much easier.”
This season, he is splitting the net with Landon Bow and it might only be a matter of time until he becomes the number one goaltender with the way he has been playing.
In his four starts, Oettinger is 1-1-2 with a 2.17 goals-against average (GAA), a .934 save percentage (SV%) and one shutout. In his last two starts, against the Grand Rapids Griffins and Milwaukee Admirals, he has given up just one goal on 63 shots for a .984 SV%.
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.