Kari Lehtonen's skate blade cost him more than just a few minutes of ice-time on Friday.
Lehtonen had to tromp down the tunnel early in the third period of the Dallas Stars game against the Minnesota Wild to deal with a problematic blade, sending Richard Bachman between the pipes for a brief spell. The issue coincided with a two-minute 5-on-3 for his teammate, and Jamie Benn cashed in to give the Stars what was then a two-goal lead.
The bad news for Lehtonen, who stopped 30 of 33 shots he faced, was that the Wild's late goal in the third period meant Benn's goal was the game winner, and that gave the win to Bachman, who was in net when the game-winner was scored. For the record, Bachman played 2:32 and faced exactly zero shots.
Late Friday night on Twitter, there was a brief discussion that the win could be given to Lehtonen, but the official game sheet still had it belonging to Bachman.
I did attempt to search for an officially-sourced rule about which goalie would be credited with a win in a multi-goalie game, but I was unable to find anything other than uncited summaries for the NHL rules. But because this statistic does not vary across levels of hockey (at least to my knowledge), here's the rule from Section 6, Article 1 of the NCAA's Ice Hockey Statisticians Manual.
In a non-tie game, whoever is in goal for each team when the game-winning goal is scored receives credit for the win or is charged with the loss. In a tie game, whoever is in goal for each team when the game-tying goal is scored receives credit for the tie. If either net is empty when the GWG or GTG is scored, the goaltender of record is the goaltender that was pulled to create the empty-net situation. If a game ends in a 0-0 tie, the goaltender receiving credit for the tie for each team shall be the goaltender that started the game.
That was much harder to find and cite than it should have been, honestly.
So despite the fact that Lehtonen obviously deserves to be the goalkeeper of record for this one, I don't think that will happen. Bachman should buy him a really nice dinner. It's obviously not like he was out to "steal" the win - equipment issues happen. But it's still a statistical novelty worth noting.
- In what is probably good news after how serious the injury looked, Vernon Fiddler apparently suffered a "charley horse" (and I assume this is referring to the deep quad bruise and not the excruciatingly painful but short-lived leg cramps) and is day-to-day. [Stars Inside Edge]
- Eric Nystrom didn't get his name on that plaque that Jaromir Jagr had been joking about for his 1,000th assist. But he is fitting in well on the top line and is reportedly working on an extension to stay in Dallas. [DallasNews.com]
- The Wild, or more importantly Ryan Suter, were not happy about the officiating. I did not get a chance to watch the game live, so I can't comment on any particular call or miss. That said, he's wrong about the refs not having to answer to anyone. They don't have to answer publicly or to the players in the vast majority of cases, but they have bosses who track their games and many potential consequences that can be merited out without a breath of it reaching anyone's ears (much like, say, a player discipline problem that is handled in-house). [Minneapolis Star-Tribune]
- Ray Whitney is made of hockey magic, and nothing you can say will convince me otherwise. Also, his quote at the end of this article about his role in the leadership group is quite interesting. [NHL.com]
- I can't say I agree with the overall assessment of the state of the Stars that our friends at Anaheim Calling put forward in this article. But since everyone loves trade speculation this time of year, it's an interesting case on why the Ducks might consider someone like Derek Roy. [Anaheim Calling]
- Speaking of Bachman, I realized he was a small dude, but I didn't realize he's statistically the smallest goalie from all NHL opening-day rosters (with the caveat that Bachman actually started the season in Austin, but that was more a function of getting him some playing time rather than him losing the battle to Cristopher Nilstorp). [The Globe and Mail]
- The Detroit Red Wings defense might not be much to write home about this year, but they did add to their pool of prospects (and perhaps even to their depth this year) by signing the highly sought-after Dan DeKeyser of Western Michigan. [Winging it in Motown]
- The guys at Down Goes Brown have taken to writing regular pieces for Grantland, and their look at the Week that Was in the NHL is always worth both a read and a laugh. [Grantland]
- I'm usually not one to go with game highlights for the video here, but it isn't every day you get to see a player register his 1,000th NHL assist. Congrats, Mr. Jagr.