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Ultra-Rare Achievements in the NHL

March 13, 2017

It’s really hard to skate on ice and play a contact sport. It’s even harder to do these things while doing that.
Interesting NHL Facts

A goal in every possible way

There are five different permutations or situations in which a player can score a goal in hockey. They are even strength (both teams have six skaters on the ice, no one in the penalty box); when a team has five players on the ice due to a penalty; when the other team has five players on the ice due to a penalty; on a penalty shot; into an empty net, when the goaltender has been pulled to instead have another player on offense Only one time has one player scored during all of those situations in a single game. Mario Lemieux of the Pittsburgh Penguins did it on New Year’s Eve, 1989.

Most points by a goalie in a single game

Goalie is almost an entirely defensive position. Their job is to stand in front of the net and prevent the other team from scoring, so they’re pretty much supposed to stay in one place. (Even if they could move, it would be hard with all that protective gear on.) During a game in February 1993, the Calgary Flames beat the San Jose Sharks 13-1, one of the highest-scoring games in NHL history. And amazingly, three of those points came from Flames goalie Jeff Reese. He was able to shoot the puck directly to an offensive teammate who turned it into a goal three separate times. Those assists give Reese the most prolific scoring night ever for a goaltender.

Scoring a goal in a game in which the player didn’t play

On March 10, 2014, the Dallas Stars hosted the Columbus Blue Jackets. Just about two minutes into the first period, the Blue Jackets’ Nathan Horton scored a goal. But then a few minutes later, the game was called off due to an emergency: Rick Peverley of the Stars suffered a heart attack and collapsed on the team bench. Peverley survived, but the game had to be rescheduled for April 2014. That gave the league time to figure out how to handle the continuation—they had to have a full, 60-minute game so as not to cheat ticketholders for the make-up game, but also had to account for Horton’s goal. The solution: A new, full game would be played, but with the score set at 1-0, with Horton’s goal listed as happening at 0:00 in the first period. But before the make-up game, Horton went on the injured list. That means he’s listed as having scored a goal in a game…that he ultimately didn’t play in.

No Canadian teams in the playoffs

Hockey is a definitively Canadian sport, and the two institutions are closely intertwined. The current NHL began as a six-team in the 1920s, with two of those teams being the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs. Between 1927 and 1969, those two teams dominated the league, winning a combined 25 Stanley Cups. But then in 1970, for the first time ever, no Canadian team made it into the NHL playoffs. Toronto didn’t win enough games outright while Montreal lost a tiebreaker with the New York Rangers for the final spot. It wouldn’t happen again until the 2015-16, when none of the now-seven Canadian teams had a good enough record for the postseason.

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Jon Gilsdorf

Should be most points by a goalie in a single game

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