Some people claim that my love for stats and fantasy hockey takes all the fun and romance out of being a hockey fan. While I don't totally agree or disagree with this I can show them a very solid success record in my fantasy pools and highlight the fact I am rarely heart-broken by an under-performing player on my favorite team.
I still cheer for my team, I still have favorite players. Perhaps the way I watch and talk about the NHL has changed slightly, but I believe I am a better fan for it . . . not worse. I believe access to education and information always serve to make you a better citizen regardless if it is in political life or in the fantasy hockey realm.
To further this I thought I'd shine a light on some statistical anomalies from the past season. First a quick history lesson on myself. My Dad had me in minor hockey at three years old and I played until after my first year of Junior. My parents home on Prince Edward Island has a trophy case. It is loaded with all of the sporting accomplishments of my father, brother and myself. (My brother has a medal to prove he is the only one of the three of us to capture an illusive Provincial Title . . . something that bothers me still, but that is a story for another day). Also on that mantle are seven hockey pucks. My father captured and saved the puck that I used to score my first goal at each level from Tykes-Midget. He even has a puck from Junior, but my first goal came on the road when he wasn't there. So he grabbed a puck at home a few weeks later when my Junior career culminated with one of my few hat tricks.
All this to say. I love first goals. The only think I like more than first goals are guys who score their first goal in their first NHL game. This led me down a path on an recent evening with no playoff hockey. I wanted to see a few of these highlights. This is when I noticed that there were four players this season who finished the year with 100% shooting percentage. One shot. One goal. So I thought I'd share this statistical rarity with you.
We start with Peter Holland, a centre for the Aneheim Ducks. His stat line this year looks like this. 4 GP, 1G, 1S. Against Vancouver this past November, in his second career game,he takes the feed from Toni Lyndman and scorches one. It is his first career NHL goal. Enjoy.
A month later St. Louis Blues winger Adam Cracknell picks up the puck on a turn-over rips it past the Dallas goalie. This leads to his third career goal, but only marker of the 2011-2012 campaign. He finishes the year with 2 GP, 1 G 1 S.
There was nothing of note in this department in January, but February brought us a goal from Carter Camper. I was actually at the game and right behind the net he scored in. I have to admit I knew nothing of it at the time, they don't announce first ever goals in visiting arenas. In the clip you can see battles hard against the Sens third line, forces it out and keeps the play alive front long enough to bang in the gimmie for his first NHL goal. The Bruins went on the beat the Senators that night. Camper's season line finishes with 3 GP, 1 G, 1S.
Finally, as the season wound down winger Chris VandeVelde was called up for a game on March 25 with the Oilers. It looked like he would never get his first goal, as last season he had played in 12 Gameswith 16 shots and no goals. In his last game of the year with the Oilers he took his first shot and made it count against the lowly Blue Jackets.CVV crosses over at the blueline from his off-wing, uses the Bluejacket defensemen as a screen, before fluttering one on net and watching it go in.
I also have an honorable mention. Calgary Flame Akim Aliu had one of the most memorable debuts I have ever heard about. His season line looks like this. 2 GP, 2 goals 3 shots. All those goals and shots came against Anaheim in his first career NHL game.
Finally, just to show the other side of things. Lets look at #46 Roman Polak. The St. Louis defenseman threw 88 shots on goal, they resulted in 11 assists and no goals. Not an easy feat to throw almost 100 shots on net and not get one. However, to make him feel better lets look at this playoff highlight. The interesting stuff starts, coincidentally at 46 seconds.