The “12 Days of Christmas” is a classic holiday song first published in its current form in 1908. In a nod to the classic carol, join The Hockey Writers as we count down the 12 Days of Hockeymas. Each day, we will provide you with a piece of hockey history as we eagerly await the start of the 2020-21 NHL season.
There isn’t much that’s happened only once in Detroit Red Wings history. We’ve highlighted the plethora of awards accumulated by the organization (and individual players) over the years. We’ve looked at playoff droughts, playoff heroes, and everything in between. A more obvious choice for the No. 1 spot would be the legendary Terry Sawchuck, but not only was that covered in our eight retired numbers piece, this very site already has extensive write-ups on him.
Today’s countdown to Christmas – on Christmas Eve no less – highlights something that’s only happened once in the Red Wings’ 93-season history, and is a feat not even Sawchuck accomplished during his storied career:
A goalie goal.
Chris Osgood Scored the Only Goalie Goal in Red Wings History
Chris Osgood added to the legacy of storied Detroit goalies with a stellar career that featured three Stanley Cups, two William M. Jennings Trophies, a second-team All-Star designation, 401 career wins (13th all-time), a 2.49 career goals allowed average (34th all-time), 50 career shutouts (32nd all-time), 19 assists (24th all-time), and a fight with Patrick Roy.
One of his most memorable milestones, however, came when he scored a goal against the Hartford Whalers on March 6, 1996. That’s something only 11 other goalies have been credited with, and of those, only eight (including Osgood’s) were scored with an attempted shot.
The goal, which came with 11 seconds left in the game, iced the Red Wings’ 4-2 win over the Whalers and put Osgood into an elite club – at the time he was just the third goalie to notch one, and it came in a season in which Osgood won the Jennings Trophy while finishing second in Vezina Trophy voting.
Ron Hextall & Martin Brodeur Are Credited With Multiple Goals
Three goals preceded Osgood’s tally, the first of which came in 1979 when New York Islanders goalie Billy Smith received credit for a goal after the Colorado Rockies’ Rob Ramage errantly passed the puck into his own empty net. Ron Hextall was actually the first to ever shoot the puck in himself, and he did it twice: Once in 1987 against the Boston Bruins, and again a little over a year later versus the Washington Capitals. The latter of the two actually came in the playoffs.
New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur scored a goal in the playoffs in 1997, and was eventually credited with two more, one in 2000 and another in 2013, though both of those came from opposing team own goals.
The Red Wings actually had a goalie score against them when then-Phoenix Coyotes’ goaltender Mike Smith tallied an empty netter with one second remaining on Oct. 19, 2013. Nashville Predators netminder Pekka Rinne was the most recent to score, doing so earlier this year on Jan. 9, 2020.
The seven goalies to score with a shot on goal are Hextall (2), Osgood, Brodeur, Mike Smith, Rinne, Jose Theodore, and Evgeni Nabokov. Billy Smith, Brodeur (2), Damian Rhodes, Mika Noronen, Chris Mason, and Cam Ward were all credited with goals after they were the last to touch the puck when the opposition put it in its own net.
Keeping Watch For the Next One
It’s impossible to know when the next goalie goal will happen – there was a gap of over six years between Mike Smith’s and Rinne’s goals – but whenever it does come, another netminder will earn their way into the history books next to some elite company.
So, as we wrap our 12 Days of Hockeymas countdown, just remember that when the net is empty on the other side of the ice, keep your eyes peeled, because you never truly know what’s about to transpire.
Catch Up on All 12 Days of Hockeymas:
12 Years Since Winning the Cup
11 Stanley Cups in Franchise History
10 Hall of Famers on 2002 Stanley Cup Team
9 James Norris Memorial Trophies
8 Retired Numbers
7 Art Ross & Frank J. Selke Awards
6 Presidents’ Trophies
5 Conn Smythe Trophies
4 Seasons Since Making the Playoffs
3 Inaugural Award Recipients
2 William M. Jennings Trophy Seasons
A die-hard hockey fan in the desert, and proud Iowa State alum. Detroit Red Wings and Arizona Coyotes contributor for The Hockey Writers.