Sunday, April 13, 2014

Ending the 2013-2014 Regular Season

                                                            Drew MacIntyre-Leafs

Last Thursday night, Leafs Coach Randy Carlyle decided to start Drew MacIntyre in goal. Without a great deal of fanfare, it was an important evening for the Leafs goalie. MacIntyre was drafted by the Red Wings in 2001. Since that time, he has logged an awful lot of ice time in many hockey leagues. As it turned out, he had to wait until he was thirty years old to get his first start in the NHL.

After the game he chatted with the media. “It’s been a long time, but it was awesome playing my first game. I was hoping it would be a win. That’s how I had envisioned it. I looked up at the end of the anthem and saw the Draft 2001 flag. I smiled at myself and said, ‘It’s been a fun ride.’ I found it so funny that I was playing my first game in this rink.”

I asked him for a quick photo as he returned to the dressing room. I mentioned that I came from Wellington. “I don’t know if you remember, but I played for the Trenton Sting when I was fifteen,” he told me with a slight smile. Sure enough, the NHL Official Guide confirmed this. My other main source of players and teams did not have the same information. In fact, had no record of MacIntyre’s original foray into the hockey world. The entire year of 1998-1999 is missing from their archives.

MacIntyre skated briefly at the Dukes camp that season, and was a guest of Coach Marty Abrams. Marty had already signed Rob Gherson for the season, and released MacIntyre to the Sting. Gherson informed me that he and MacIntyre faced each other several times in the hockey wars, particularly in the American League. 

MacIntyre, a native of Charlottetown, PEI, played his major junior hockey in the Quebec League with Sherbrooke.  Most of his professional career has been in the American League, with four relief appearances in the NHL. He played 56 games in the ECHL, including 10 last year in Reading. He has played 46 games this year for the Marlies, with a sparkling goals-against-average of 2.49. With Bernier injured, he was called up to the Leafs for Thursday’s game.

Carlyle was politely infuriated with his team’s effort in the game, following a 4-2 loss to the Panthers. “I thought we would have a little bit more compassion for the goaltender that was going in the net for his first NHL start. We gave up eight quality scoring chances in the first period.” It has been a rocky road for the Leafs this year.

Playoffs begin Wednesday!

April 13, 2014.

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