What do you do when you set a new NHL record? If you’re the Toronto Maple Leafs’ Jack Campbell, you order lobster. Campbell recorded his 11th straight win of the season on Saturday night with a 6-5 victory over the Ottawa Senators. He becomes the first goalie in league history to start a season 11-0, moving in front of Carey Price. Price set the mark at ten to kick off the 2016-17 season. Admittedly it wasn’t the performance Campbell expected to set the NHL record, allowing five goals on 32 shots. He is always first to credit his teammates, but this time he may be right, as he explained in his post-game interview.
Sheldon Keefe credited the Senators for a strong performance that challenged the Leafs. He also said his goalie continued to fight and give his team a chance to win. “He battled as he normally does. We gave up too much with a lot of speed coming at him tonight. They shoot the puck a lot and go to the net a lot, so even routine saves are challenging against this team. I’m sure he didn’t love pulling five pucks out of his net tonight, but he battled like he has done since he’s gotten in this season and finds ways to win.”
Campbell’s perfect 11-0 start has also produced some other impressive netminder statistics. He has a .934 save percentage. To put that in context, the best save percentage recorded in a season was courtesy of another Leafs’ goalie, Jacques Plante, who had a .944 during the 1970-71 season. Campbell’s goals-against average is 1.88. That’s impressive, but the NHL record for GAA in a season is 0.92 held by George Hainsworth, who pulled off the feat with the Montreal Canadiens back in 1928-29. As great as Campbell has been, that one may be a record that he won’t be challenging.
Kevin Armstrong is an award-winning journalist with more than two decades of experience. He’s been rink side for World Juniors, Memorial Cups, Calder Cups and Stanley Cups. Like many Canadian kids, his earliest memories include hockey. Kevin has spent countless hours in arenas throughout the country watching all levels of the game.