March 21, 2008

Good Friday To You, Ron Tugnutt

March 21st, 1991. Quebec's Ron Tugnutt stopped 70 Bruins shots, including 12 in overtime, to give the Nordiques a 3-3 tie at Boston.

The Bruins' 73 shots were 10 short of the NHL record set by Boston in a 1941 game against Chicago. Ray Bourque set a NHL single game record with 19 shots himself!

Tugnutt's performance was so impressive even some of the Bruins' players skated over to congratulate him.

Here's some video highlights:



That Nordiques team was really bad. But Tugnutt was the guy you really pulled for, even if you were a fan of the opposition that night. He was a small but exciting reflex goalie, and a hard and enthusiastic worker.

Early in his career, especially in Quebec, he was a hot and cold goalie, often flopping around the net, looking either spectacular or foolish. Obviously Boston caught him on a spectacular night.

He was never really a number one goalie though. He filled that role with terrible teams in Quebec and in Columbus. With the guidance of goaltending coach Phil Myre he had some good years in Ottawa, even setting a modern single season record with a 1.79 GAA one year. But ultimately he split duties with Damian Rhodes and Patrick Lalime. Otherwise he was labeled a back up goalie when with strong teams like Edmonton (Bill Ranford), Montreal (Patrick Roy) and Dallas (Marty Turco).

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