On February 24 in NYR history: Gilbert’s record 16 shots on goal in one game

Vic Hadfield (left) and Rod Gilbert (Photo by Melchior DiGiacomo/Getty Images)
Vic Hadfield (left) and Rod Gilbert (Photo by Melchior DiGiacomo/Getty Images) /

What happened on February 24 in the history of the New York Rangers

In 1968 on this date, Rod Gilbert set an NHL record with 16 shots on goal in one game.   He did it on the road in a 6-1 win over Montreal.  Not only did Gilbert get 16 shots on goal, he scored four times for for the first time in his career and he did it in his hometown. With the four goals he tied the franchise record achieved by seven other Rangers before him.  He reached that total two more times in his career

The NHL has tracked shots on goals by individual players since 1959 so there is no way of knowing if another player had more than the 16 shots by Gilbert,  but no matter what, it is  a very impressive statistic.

Ray Bourque of the Bruins broke Gilbert’s record with 19 shots in a 1991 game versus Quebec. Gilbert’s 16 shots is the second highest total in NHL history and it still stands as the franchise record.  Marian Hossa of the Atlanta Thrashers is the only other NHL player to reach that total, in 2006.

The last Ranger to hit double figures in shots on goal in a game was Ryan Callahan who had 11 shots against the Kings in 2011.

Two quick goals

On this date in 2019, the Rangers accomplished an obscure feat in a 6-5 overtime loss to the Washington Capitals  Chris Kreider scored 21 seconds into the first period and Jimmy Vesey scored 21 seconds into the third period.  It marked the second time in franchise history that the Rangers had scored within 21 seconds of the start of a period twice in the same game.

In 1989 Michel Petit scored 14 seconds into the first period and Carey Wilson scored eight seconds into the third period in a 6-3 loss to Winnipeg at Madison Square Garden. The only question is who finds these records?

A mark for Messier

On February 24 in 1994, Mark Messier became the 13th NHL player to scored 1,300 points in a 3-1 win over the Devils at the Meadowlands.   Messier assisted on goals by Sergei Zubov and Adam Graves to reach the milestone.

Messier retired with 1,887 points in his career. As of this season, 36 NHL players have reached the 1,300 point mark with Patrick Kane and Evgeni Malkin likely to be the next two players to hit that mark.

A coaching (and team) milestone

On this date in1938, Lester Patrick coached the Rangers to a 6-3 win over the Chicago Black Hawks at Madison Square Garden.  It was the 250th win for the New York Rangers franchise and because he was the only coach in the team’s history, it was his 250th win as a coach.

He became the first NHL coach to reach 250 wins.  He retired with 281 wins, the 53rd most among all coaches in NHL history.   His 281 wins with one team is fifth most behind Toe Blake, Jack Adam, Jon Cooper and Craig MacTavish.   He is second on the Rangers win list behind Emile Francis.

Kreider’s big payday

February 24, 2000 was the trade deadline and the Rangers made a big move, signing Chris Kreider to a seven-year, $45.5 million extension.  Kreider was one of the most desired forwards on an expiring contract and there had been speculation about whether the team would deal him or keep him.   With the emergence of rookie goalie Igor Shesterkin, the team had playoff hopes with a record of 33-24-4.  Unfortunately, Kreider broke his foot blocking a shot just three games after signing the contract and missed the rest of the season.

Gold medal day

It wasn’t a Rangers milestone, but it was the biggest day for hockey in United States history.  The United States Olympic hockey team beat Finland on this date in1980 to win the gold medal, one of the most remarkable feats in Olympics history.

Today’s birthdays

21 NHL players have been born on February 24 and there were five New York Rangers in that group.

Alex Kovalev was born on this date in 1973 in  Togliatti, USSR. The 15th overall pick in the 1991 NHL Entry draft was the second Russian born player to play for the Rangers following Sergei Nemchinov. .

He played almost 500 games for the Rangers in two stints, traded to Pittsburgh for Petr Nedved in 1998 and then again in the purge of 2004.  He scored 24 goals in his best season in New York but reached 44 goals with the Penguins.  He was one of the four Russians on the 1994 Rangers team to become the first players from that nation to win the Cup.

Jeff Brubaker was a left winger born on this date in 1958 in Frederick, Maryland.  After starting his career in the WHA, he played for five different NHL teams before making his way to New York in the 1987-88 season.  He played in 31 games, scoring two goals.

Wojtek Wolski was born on this date in 1986 in Zabrze, Poland.   He was the second Ranger player born in Poland, following Joe Jerwa.  Although born in Poland, he holds dual citizenship and was raised in Canada.  He came to the Rangers in a trade for Michal Rozcival in 2010 and last barely one season.  He developed a reputation as a “soft”player and the Rangers traded him to Florida.  He finished his career in the KHL.

Tim Erixon was born on this date in in 1991 in Port Chester, New York when his father, Jan Erixon was playing for the Rangers. Acquired in a trade in 2011 from Colorado, the defenseman played only 18 games in New York before he was part of the package sent to Columbus in the trade for Rick Nash. Erixon is Swedish and is still playing in the Swedish Hockey League.

Neil Strain was a left winger who played 52 games in the the NHL in the 1952-53 season, all with the Rangers.  He was born on this date in 1926 in Kenora, Ontario.

The numbers

This is one of the best days for the Rangers in the month of February as they boast a .614 points percentage with only nine losses in 35 games.

Games: 35
Regulation wins: 18
Regulation losses: 10
Ties: 5
Overtime losses: 1
Shootout losses: 1
Points percentage: .614

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