This here guy is Lester Patrick, jauntily referred to as "the Silver Fox" during the 1920s. One night in the 1928 Stanley Cup finals, Patrick was forced to suit up to replace his injured starting goaltender. This was particular note because not only was Patrick a Defenseman, he was also the Coach and GM of the Rangers at the time.
At the tender age of of 44 years, 3 months, 9 days, Patrick called the audible, stepped up into the lineup and allowed only a single goal in helping the Rangers to an overtime victory. This is a record for the oldest goalie to play in the Stanley Cup Finals that still stands today and springs to mind when watching the recent play of Martin Gerber in net for the Mighty Oilers.
UPDATE: BEHOLD THE MIGHTY GERBER
Not only was Martin Gerber 12 years old the night Patrick suited up in net for the Rangers, but he is also defying all logic and physics – putting up tremendous numbers in net for the Oilers during the past two outings. At this pace he is going to go a perfect 82-0, destroy all NHL records and single handedly bring the plain white goalie mask back in style.
As the esteemed Jonathan Willis recently noted:
- Martin Gerber: 2-0-0, 1.50 GAA, 0.950 SV%
- Devan Dubnyk: 1-2-3, 3.24 GAA, 0.911 SV%
- Nikolai Khabibulin: 4-10-1, 4.07 GAA, 0.879 SV%
Heh, heh, heh. Look at the old warhorse go!
Photo credit: The esteemed Commander Ender.
We haven’t had a shred of love for Gerber for a few reasons. One – he was playing in the KHL last year and was completely off the North American radar. Two – see picture above. Gerber was the back up to Cam Ward back in 2006 when the Oilers were tricked out of winning the Stanley Cup due to pressure from a Global para-military cabal.
As has been pointed out by the pundits all around the league, the instant that Khabibulin is back from the IR – Gerber will be sent packing back to the farm. In the meantime however he is putting on a real show, capping a career that saw him drafted 232nd overall by the Mighty Ducks back in 2001.
In the ten years since then, Gerber has played for five different NHL teams in a variety of roles and earned him a non-deserved Cup Ring with the Canes.
PUT IT IN PERSPECTIVE
This is a guy who broke two bones in his spine playing for something called a Atlant Moscow Oblast last year. The odds his career path would wind back into North America – let alone net him a pair of NHL wins – were somewhere between slim and none. But there he is, stopping bagillions of rubber discs shot in his general direction and defying all the odds along the way.
As Oilers fans we are quick to jump on under performing players. You ain’t playin up to snuff? We ain’t got time for none of that nonsense up here in the OilersNation. We have Exciting Last Place Hockey to play!
But at the same time we must also occasionally sit back and appreciate the play of someone who is fighting miles above their weight class by simply playing in the NHL. Martin Gerber is carrying the mail despite the fact he is:
1) Older than Lester Patrick present day.
2) Playing on what is (hopefully) the worst team in the NHL.
3) Stopping more shots with his body than 50 Cent.
Well, we salute you for your performance Martin. You have done the impossible and made us appreciate a member of the 2006 Carolina Hurricanes. With the exception of the season that Erik Cole tricked us with his voodoo black magic, that hasn’t happened before today.
May you never lose another game Sir.