If Yann can goal-tend, so can you. Yet you probably can’t goal-tend like Yann Danis do. My poor Dr. Seuss attempt and Yan Can Cook reference aside, it’s true. Yann Danis is a true difference maker this season, backstopping the Albany Devils.
Last season, Keith Kinkaid and Scott Clemmensen started and closed the season in stellar fashion. Yet, packed in the middle, Clemmensen shook off rust and fought a bout with the mumps, leaving the less experienced Scott Wedgewood and Maxime Clermont with the bulk of the workload. While an ankle injury to Wedgewood, has tasked Danis with a sizable amount of minutes, he’s been up to the challenge in the early going.
This season marks the second go-round for Danis with the New Jersey Devils organization. Danis, was Martin Brodeur’s backup in 2009-10, appearing in 12 games. Danis is no stranger to the AHL or Capital Region either, winning the Aldege “Baz” Bastien Memorial Award in 2011-12, with the Oklahoma City Barons and playing an hour north of Times Union Center, with the Adirondack Phantoms, during the 2013-14 campaign.
Playing in 19 contests with the A-Devils, Danis tops AHL netminders in minutes (1,152) and wins (14), ranks tied for first with four shutouts and second with a 1.67 goals-against average. In addition, Danis ranks sixth with 435 saves and fifth with a .931 save percentage.
All of these numbers are pointing toward a superb season for Danis. In fact, Danis’ four shutouts have already tied a single season franchise record, held by Kinkaid and Wedgewood in 2013-14. So, where might Danis rank historically among Capital District goaltenders when all is said and done?
As mentioned above, during the 2013-14 campaign, Kinkaid took his game to the next level. During that season, Kinkaid ranked third in the AHL with a 2.29 goals-against average.
In 2007-08, the Carolina Hurricanes affiliated Albany River Rats had Michael Leighton in net. Leighton was the Baz Bastien recipient and an AHL All-Star, finishing first in club history and in the AHL with seven shutouts. Leighton also ranked first with a .931 save percentage and second with a 2.10 goals-against average.
Back in 1994-95 the New Jersey Devils affiliated River Rats boasted quite the dynamic duo. Corey Schwab and Mike Dunham backstopped the River Rats to a Calder Cup championship and brought home more hardware. Schwab and Dunham earned the Harry “Hap” Holmes Memorial Award, given to goalies of the AHL club with the lowest goals-against average, who have also appeared in at least 25 contests. Schwab and Dunham were also co-MVP’s of the Calder Cup playoffs, taking home the Jack A. Butterfield Trophy. In the regular season, Schwab, an AHL All-Star, posted a ledger of 25-10-9, 2.59 goals-against average, .906 save percentage and three shutouts, while Dunham went 20-7-8, 2.80 goals-against average, .898, one shutout.
A season later in 1995-96, Dunham, an AHL All-Star, posted 30 victories, sported a 2.52 goals-against average, .908 save percentage and recorded one shutout.
In 1996-97, Peter Sidorkiewicz, an AHL All-Star, posted an Albany AHL best 31 victories, a goals-against average of 2.90, .901 save percentage and recorded two shutouts.
During the 2009-10 campaign, Justin Peters was an AHL All-Star, registering 26 wins, a 2.54 goals-against average, .917 save percentage and one shutout.
Michael Gwizdala covers the New York Islanders for The Hockey Writers. Michael is also an Associate Producer at WNYT NewsChannel 13. Additionally, Michael was once a Media Relations intern for the AHL Albany River Rats. Michael is a graduate of The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY.