So sorry, Picks!
The Colorado Avalanche had their hearts broken this summer, when backup-turned-worst-case-starter Calvin Pickard was taken by the Vegas Golden Knights in the expansion draft.
His already-tough year took a turn for the worse in early October, when the Golden Knights were enticed by the waiver placement of Malcolm Subban. Eager to give the former first-rounder a place behind Marc-Andre Fleury, they waived Pickard - then dealt him to the Toronto Maple Leafs, where he’s been in the AHL ever since.
His golden opportunity came on Friday morning, when it was revealed that backup Curtis McElhinney had suffered a lower-body injury and would be out for the game he was supposed to start. The Leafs looked past Garret Sparks to recall none other than Pickard - perfect, since they were set to play the Avalanche themselves later in the evening.
Pickard made his season NHL debut against his old club, stopping 24 of 28 shots faced to earn his team a point with an overtime loss. [Mile High Hockey]
He wasn’t the only backup making his season debut, though. The other was much, much cooler - once again, Sorry Picks.
Give Jeff Glass the Vezina. #Blackhawks pic.twitter.com/1SNdRj0qAw— Cristiano Simonetta (@CMS_74_) December 30, 2017
Jeff Glass was drafted 89th overall by the Ottawa Senators in 2004 - and although he went on to win gold for Team Canada at the World Juniors in 2005, a crowded depth chart left him heading overseas before long. He bounced around the KHL for years, before finally making his way back to North America in 2016.
He was expected to stay in the AHL for a second straight season, but the Chicago Blackhawks were dealt a series of unfortunate events that gave him his shot. Corey Crawford was placed on Injured Reserve on December 27th, and the team’s third goaltender in line - former LA Kings prospect JF Berube - is out in Rockford with an injury, as well. So Glass got the nod to come up, and a tough loss for backup Anton Forsberg Thursday night left Glass making his NHL debut as a 32-year-old on Friday against Connor McDavid.
It took 42 shots in regulation, but Glass managed to earn an overtime win - making him the biggest feel-good story of the night, even for those who hate the Blackhawks. [InGoal Mag]
Oh, and there’s another possible recall coming - in Tampa Bay, backup Peter Budaj just got hurt. Louis Domingue is the next man in line... want to learn more about him? Here you go. [InGoal Mag]
Now, to move away from goalies and towards the World Juniors outdoor game:
I could give you article after article to read. But really, we need gifs and pictures, because you can’t make some of this stuff up:
Hey, look! An Av-In-Training! (Or something like that):
Makar opens the scoring, puts Canada up 1-0 on the power play pic.twitter.com/2GfNicB3Yr— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) December 29, 2017
The cocaine has arrived to help jumpstart Team USA pic.twitter.com/zBhqNdCch8— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) December 29, 2017
The beautiful game pic.twitter.com/5lNqLTsO30— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) December 29, 2017
Brady Tkachuk, big Crazy Train fan (cc: @_TyAnderson) pic.twitter.com/6D55JnZnve— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) December 29, 2017
(I will give you some reading, though. Check out this article on Ryan Poehling’s experience with Team USA from Habs Eye On The Prize, or this article from Habs EOTP on Canada’s Colton Point and Victor Mete from their game the day prior.)
Finally, does your team want to pick up Anthony Duclair? Yes? No? Maybe? You don’t know enough to be sure? Here’s more info on his game for interested parties. [Raw Charge]