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Silver Nuggets: Chris Driedger’s unusual career

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Not many players have had career starts like Driedger

NHL: Ottawa Senators at Calgary Flames Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Driedger has had a very weird start to his NHL career. He has three games played over three consecutive seasons with no starts. Thinking about this, I wanted to see if anyone else had done anything similar. I limited my search to goalies who’ve played since the full-season lockout, just so I didn’t have to look through tons of data.

Only two other players have played three games with no starts in that timespan: Tom McCollum and Dimitri Patzold. Unfortunately, McCollum’s only span two seasons, and Patzold’s all came in the same season. And nobody with more games played had zero starts. However, Drew MacIntyre actually played five games with no starts over three seasons spaced across seven years, and then finally got his first (and only) career start. So I think it’s safe to say Driedger’s path thus far has been unusual.

To be fair, McCollum is only 26 years old and is currently playing in the Flames’ system, so it appears his career isn’t over. Still, as a first-round pick, his career hasn’t worked out as well as we might’ve hoped. Patzold, for his part, is a German goalie who was a fourth-round pick of the Sharks, and after spending minimal time in North America, has gone back to play fairly mediocrely in the German league (against All-Star Dany Heatley, presumably). Out of those three guys (McCollum, Patzold, and Driedger), Driedger has the highest career save percentage, lowest goals against average, and most time-on-ice, so at least his career is off to a slightly better start.

Of course there’s an obvious flaw in all this comparison - I’m only looking at guys who didn’t have NHL careers. It’s a lot harder to figure out who went on to have an NHL career after a weird start like Driedger. But the point of all this is that Driedger’s NHL start may not have been great, but he’s younger (only 22) than the comparables, and put up better stats. It’s not much, but it means that he’s probably not done. That game against Calgary was a freak game where he didn’t have a chance to warm up, the game was still up for grabs, and he started by facing a powerplay. Here’s hoping he still gets an NHL start sometime soon.

Sens Links:

  • Two games since the weekend: first, Tuesday’s win over the Hurricanes [Silver Seven, SensChirp
  • And also last night’s shutout of the Canucks [Silver Seven, SensChirp]
  • worsteverything looked at just what so moving about Craig Anderson’s shutout win [WTYKY]
  • Callum had a great piece pointing out the courage of Nicholle Anderson in telling her husband to go back to his team when they needed him [Silver Seven]
  • The Sens acquired goaltender Mike Condon for a 5th-rounder [Silver Seven, SensChirp, 6th Sens]
  • Trevor wasn’t too impressed by the Sens’ handling of Thomas Chabot [Silver Seven]
  • After sending down Chabot, the Sens re-called Max McCormick and Fredrik Claesson [Silver Seven]
  • Rather than just dreaming of Sens Halloween costumes, Capital Gains and Matty Go Sens photoshopped the Sens into costume [Bonk’s Mullet]
  • Pan and Canuck were in Calgary and Edmonton, and they recap those games/cities/arena (and I get a little shout-out for meeting them!) [SCU - Calgary, SCU - Edmonton]
  • Episode McAmmond of the Chet & Luke Podcast, including a fantastic Dion Phaneuf impression [Silver Seven]

Other Links

  • After the Cubs ended their 108-year World Series drought, a look at which NHL team could end their (shorter) championship drought next [TSS]
  • Alex Ovechkin just caught Wayne Gretzky... in the admittedly dumb statistic of game-winning goals [TSS]
  • The Predators’ poor start to the season has coincided with some poor play [TSN]