Shayne Gostisbehere (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Shayne Gostisbehere blasted his way into the Flyers record books Monday, smoking a one-timer to lay claim to the Philadelphia record for most goals by a rookie blueliner. Gostisbehere, 22, is on pace to become the fourth-highest scoring rookie defenseman in league history.
Shayne Gostisbehere may not be the Calder Trophy frontrunner, but he keeps making his case to be named the league’s top rookie. Already with a rookie record 15-game point streak by a defenseman and the third-best points per game pace for among freshman players, Gostisbehere added another accolade to his outstanding season by setting a Flyers rookie record for most goals by a defenseman.
Gostisbehere went in to Tuesday’s game one goal back of tying the record previously held by Behn Wilson. The Flyers rookie was held off the score sheet in the opening frame, but in the final minutes of the second period, Gostisbehere collected a rebound and buried it for the record-tying goal. It may not have been the most spectacular goal of Gostisbehere’s season, but he more than made up for that with the record-breaking tally.
On a power play in the third period, Gostisbehere set up on the right wing and set up for a potential one-timer. He worked the puck across the ice to Claude Giroux, who then found a seam back the other way and sent a perfect pass back to Gostisbehere. Before Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy could even get set to face Gostisbehere’s shot, the puck was popping out of the back of the net:
Gostisbehere now has 14 goals on the season and has racked up 37 points in 47 games. If he maintains his current pace, he’s set to end the campaign with 50 points, which is an awfully impressive season for a rookie blueliner.
Gostisbehere said post-game, via NHL.com, that even he couldn’t have expected to have this kind of success so soon. So how is he handling it? "Just taking everything in stride and staying within yourself.”
If Gostisbehere continues to contribute and reaches the 50-point mark, he would have the fourth-highest scoring season by a rookie blueliner in league history and he will have scored more points than any rookie defenseman since Dion Phaneuf debuted with 49 points in 2005-06. And if he continues to score, six more goals would put him into a tie with Dion Phaneuf for the second-most in league history, behind only Brian Leetch. That’s some pretty nice company.