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#NHL Stats Pack: Player Gaming Challenge Week 5

May 27, 2020


NHL Player Gaming Challenge – May 27, 2020



Brandon Montour (BUF) vs. Mackenzie Blackwood (TBL)


* Montour has averaged nearly 20 minutes per game for Buffalo in 2019-20, leading the Sabres with a +13 rating.

* Blackwood tops NHL rookie goaltenders with 22 wins in 2019-20, highlighted by a six-game winning streak in February. He is one of three goaltenders in Devils history to record 20 wins as a rookie, following Martin Brodeur (27 in 1993-94) and Sean Burke (22 in 1988-89).

* Montour and Blackwood were teammates on Team Canada at the 2019 World Championship in Slovakia, winning a silver medal.

* Both players were second-round picks: Montour (55th overall in 2014 to Anaheim) and Blackwood (42nd overall in 2015 to New Jersey).

* Blackwood became a goaltender by chance, when at age 12 the netminder on his local minor hockey team missed some time and Blackwood filled in and eventually stuck with the position.

* Montour played his first 169 NHL games with the Ducks before being traded to Buffalo for Brendan Guhle and a first-round pick on Feb. 24, 2019.

* Montour is of indigenous descent and spent part of his upbringing on Canada’s largest First Nation reservation – the Six Nations of the Grand River. He won a Minto Cup while playing lacrosse for Six Nations.

* Montour and Blackwood each excelled in the AHL before securing full-time roles in the NHL. The former skated with the Norfolk Admirals/San Diego Gulls franchise (2014-15 – 2016-17), while the latter played for Albany Devils/Binghamton Devils (2016-17 – 2018-19).

* Montour (2x; 2015-16 & 2016-17) and Blackwood (1x; 2018-19) each appeared in at least one AHL All-Star Game. Montour stockpiled several other accolades during his time in the league, including earning First All-Star Team and All-Rookie Team honors in 2015-16.

* In 2013-14, Montour was named both USHL Player of the Year/Defenseman of the Year and received First All-Star Team honors, while Blackwood was named to the OHL’s First All-Rookie Team. The following season, Montour was named to the Hockey East All-Rookie Team.

* In 2015-16, Blackwood was named OHL’s Goaltender of the Year and received First All-Star Team honors. He also represented Canada at the 2016 World Junior Championship in Finland.

* Both players simultaneously played in the GOJHL in 2012-13, when Montour was with the Caledonia Corvairs and Blackwood was with the Elmira Sugar Kings. Per the GOJHL website, Caledonia and Elmira met in six head-to-head games that season.

Head-to-head stats can be found in attached document.


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Warren Foegele (CAR) vs. Anthony Cirelli (TBL)


* Foegele and Cirelli, former OHL teammates, each are enjoying the finest campaigns of their young careers. Foegele has doubled his point total to date in 2019-20 versus last season, while Cirelli has 44 points in 68 contests – which is five more than his 82-game total from 2018-19 (39).

* Foegele tallied 2-1—3, including the winning goal, in Game 3 of the 2019 First Round against the Capitals to give the Hurricanes their first victory during their run to the Conference Finals last year. It had been 10 years since the Hurricanes won a playoff game on home ice.

* Cirelli has also garnered significant postseason experience, despite being just 22 years of age. He appeared in all 17 games for Tampa Bay during the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs as the Lightning reached Game 7 of the Conference Finals, falling to the eventual Stanley Cup champions.

* Foegele and Cirelli made their NHL debut in March 2018, each collecting 1-1—2 (Foegele: March 26, 2018 vs. OTT; Cirelli: March 1, 2018 at DAL).

* In 2016-17, Foegele and Cirelli were traded to the OHL’s Erie Otters from the Kingston Frontenacs and Oshawa Generals, respectively. Foegele (13-13—26) and Cirelli (15-16—31) combined for 57 points across 22 playoff games as the Otters captured their second J. Ross Robertson Cup as OHL champions (also 2002), with Foegele also earning the Wayne Gretzky 99 Award as the league’s postseason MVP.

* Cirelli was named Most Sportsmanlike Player at the 2017 Memorial Cup, where Erie fell to host Windsor in the final. The 2016-17 season also saw Cirelli represent Canada in their silver-medal entry at the 2017 World Junior Championship.

* Prior to 2016-17, Foegele played parts of two seasons for the NCAA’s University of New Hampshire (2-14-15 – 2015-16) before joining the OHL.

* Cirelli won both an OHL and Memorial Cup championship with Oshawa in 2015. He then served as captain of the Generals for parts of two seasons (2015-16 – 2016-17) before being traded to the Otters.


Head-to-head stats can be found in attached document.


NHLStats Pack – NHL Player Gaming Challenge – Week 5.pdf




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