Troy Grosenick had a rather interesting NHL debut, to say the least. The 25-year-old goaltender who was never drafted got tapped for his first NHL start by the San Jose Sharks Sunday while spelling starter Antti Niemi and filling in for the injured Alex Stalock.
The Sharks certainly didn’t make it easy on their rookie netminder as they were outshot 45 to 19. That kind of barrage on an inexperienced netminder should normally be a disaster. Instead, it was an evening Grosenick will never forget.
He stopped all 45 of those shots to help the Sharks earn a 2-0 win over the Carolina Hurricanes and his first NHL shutout. According to Darren Millard of Sportsnet, Grosenick broke the NHL record for most saves in a debut shutout, which stood for 47 years.
Grosenick joins a rather short list of players to record shutouts in his NHL debut including Anaheim Ducks goalie John Gibson who accomplished the feat just last season, only he had to make just 18 saves in the process.
Among the many saves he made, Grosenick showed off his flexibility by basically doing the splits to stone Zach Boychuk. He definitely had to earn this shutout.
Grosenick was signed by the Sharks as an unrestricted free agent out of Union College after the 2012-13 season. He spent all of last year with the Worcester Sharks of the AHL and recorded a .903 save percentage in 35 appearances. He had already made 10 appearances with Worcester this year before getting the call to join the big club.
The momentousness of this occassion for Grosenick was captured perfectly when the CSN Bay Area cameras found his father Scott, who was on hand to witness his son achieve his greatest goal.
According to NHL PR, Grosenick’s 45 saves gives him the Sharks' club record for saves in a debut. Also, Grosenick is the first goaltender since Mike Fountain for the Vancouver Canucks in 1996 to record 40 saves or more and a shutout in his NHL debut according to Elias Sports Bureau (via NHL PR).