In today’s goalie news, we’ll start with a frightening injury out of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) before moving onto gladder tidings for one of the NHL’s hottest goaltenders.
Tucker Tynan’s Gruesome Injury
Hockey can be a dangerous sport. 10 men skate 15-20 miles per hour with razor-sharp blades in their hands and attached to their feet. It’s incredible that serious injuries don’t happen more often. Unfortunately, that will be small comfort to Tucker Tynan, goaltender for the Niagara IceDogs, who suffered a gruesome injury in tonight’s game against the London Knights.
40 seconds into the second period, a Knights player went hard into the crease with his skates towards the net. He collided accidentally with Tynan, who went down immediately, gripping his leg in pain. Though the cut itself was largely obscured, a pool of blood began to form on the ice, and it was clear that the injury was severe.
Medical staff tended to Tynan immediately and helped him off the ice on a stretcher. He was rushed to a local medical facility, where he underwent surgery. Fortunately, he is reportedly through the operation and in stable condition.
The two teams and the OHL quickly agreed that the game should be postponed. “Tonight’s game against the London Knights has been postponed in consideration of players, staff, and fans due to the severity of the injury to Tucker Tynan,” the IceDogs announced.
Tynan was in his first season with the IceDogs, and was rising in Larry Fisher’s prospect rankings. The Chicago, Illinois native had a 3.80 goals against average (GAA) and a .910 save percentage (SV%) in 23 games this season, the second-most of any OHL goalie. Of course, none of that matters at the moment. Everyone’s first priority is his speedy recovery. We here at The Hockey Writers wish Tynan, his family, and his teammates all the best as he begins the healing process.
Red-Hot Jarry’s Easy Shutout
An NHL shutout is never anything to ignore; however, Tristan Jarry of the Pittsburgh Penguins has had harder ones than this, even in the past week. The red-hot goaltender has shutouts in three of his last four games, dating back to Dec. 4, but his clean sheet against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night was hardly a desperation effort.
Coming off a week in which he was named the NHL’s second star, Jarry faced just 17 shots, even in a game that went to overtime. Even so, the Blue Jackets generated six high danger chances, so it wasn’t a danger-free evening.
There’s no question that Jarry has won the starter’s net from Matt Murray for the time being. But with both goaltenders set to become restricted free agents at the end of the season, they are forcing general manager Jim Rutherford into some tough decisions. As beneficial as it is to have a hot hand in net, the Penguins cannot fairly evaluate their crease until Jarry cools down somewhat. Right now, he is the hottest goaltender on the planet.
Arguably, Joonas Korpisalo had an even stronger performance in the opposite net. He stopped 31-of-32 shots and held a shutout of his own through three periods in what was one of his best starts of the season. He allowed only the overtime game-winning goal to Bryan Rust with just under two minutes remaining in the game.
Vancouver Canucks goaltender Jacob Markstrom may have had the most impressive goaltending performance of the night. He held a shutout through a game that ended in overtime, but unlike Jarry, he saw plenty of work. Markstrom faced 43 shots from the Carolina Hurricanes and stopped them all, including nine on the power play.
The Hurricanes generated 12 high danger chances against Markstrom and the Canucks, but couldn’t sneak anything past the Swedish netminder, who was bouncing back from two disappointing starts. Petr Mrazek, the Hurricanes starter, was strong for his part, allowing only the overtime game-winner to Elias Pettersson on 26 Canucks shots.
Goalie Gram: Fluery’s Photo
Marc-Andre Fleury is one of the most widely-loved goaltenders in the NHL, and there’s a good reason why. He’s an all-time great, he’s the face of the league’s newest and one of its most popular franchises, and he’s the ultimate class act. For proof, look no further than this moment with a young fan before his game on the road against the St. Louis Blues.
Despite having a game to prepare for, and despite just returning from missing several games due to his father Andre’s passing, he still made time to over to a young fan and pose for a selfie with him for his birthday. It’s exactly the kind of moment that makes Fleury such a special athlete, and its the reason why so many love him.