How good is Ottawa Senators goalie Andrew Hammond? With his team’s win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday night, a 2-1 overtime victory, he nudged his record to 11-0-1 and therefore tied Frank Brimsek as the only NHL goalies to start their career with a dozen straight games in which fewer than three goals were allowed.
It may seem like a convoluted stat, but it means a great deal for Hammond because it indicates just how good a netminder the 30-year-old from White Rock is.
The goalie known league-wide as the Hamburglar has been largely responsible for the Senators’ late-season dash to the playoffs, an improbable run that few saw coming. In their past 14 games, Ottawa is 12-1-1. They’re four points back on the Boston Bruins for the second wild card slot in the Eastern Conference.
“That was as good an effort as he’s had for us,” Ottawa coach Dave Cameron said. “He’s just been awesome. His play speaks for itself.”
“Did he finally break all the records?” Kyle Turris asked. “He’s on fire. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it. Some of the saves he made tonight…it was just unbelievable.”
Prior to his record-setting call-up in the bigs, Hammond played 25 games with the Birmingham Senators in the AHL. He wasn’t nearly as impressive, posting a 3.51 goals against average with a 0.898 save percentage.
But now after 12 NHL games this season (he played for 35 minutes of one regular season game with Ottawa in 2013-2014), he’s got a 1.35 goals against average and a 0.956 save percentage.
For the Hamburglar, it’s one day at a time. It has to be. The focus is bigger than his personal accomplishments, but it’s hard to ignore what he’s been doing in the net. His stellar play has put the Senators in every single game and they’ve had the chance to win. So far, it’s been working.
“In the big picture, it’s a tall task, so when you focus one day at a time, you don’t get overwhelmed by anything,” Hammond said. “When you just focus on winning each game each night, it makes it seem a lot easier. That’s something that’s helped me with the streak maybe because it doesn’t really bother me. I’m just worrying about each game each night.”