If you follow the National Hockey League, you may have noticed the Ottawa Senators have won four games in a row. You may also have noticed they shut out the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings in back to back nights.
Behind their hot streak, the Senators are now just five games back of the free-falling Boston Bruins for the last wild card spot. And they can thank their 27 year old goaltender who is getting comparisons to Ken Dryden.
Dryden, who was a late call up to the Montreal Canadiens in 1971, led the team to a Stanley Cup his rookie season. Ottawa might not exactly be in that position, but Hammond’s legend has continued to grow.
More from AHL
- Islanders Acquire Finn, Verhaeghe, Nilsson, Gibson from Maple Leafs
- Portland Pirates Redesign Jerseys
- Albany Devils Name New General Manager
- Brandon Gormley Traded to Colorado Avalanche
- Condors and Heat to Faceoff in Outdoor Game
Last night the Senators held the Kings scoreless with a 1-0 victory and the night before that, they shutout the powerhouse Ducks with a 3-0 win. In his first NHL game, Hammond held Montreal to two goals while making 42 saves.
Ottawa never really expected Hammond to have the impact he has had. He hasn’t been on the roster all season. In fact, he’s only i the NHL because both Craig Anderson and Robin Lehner were injured. However, both of them would be hard pressed to take the job from Hammond now.
The 6’1, 216 pound British Columbia native is likely a new name to most hockey fans. He played college hockey, with Bowling Green State University, where he won only 30 out of 111 games with the Falcons. His goals against average of 2.64 was right about average, and he didn’t get many looks.
In 2013 he went undrafted, unsurprisingly, and the Senators signed him as a free agent. He was sent to the American Hockey League to play with the Binghamton Senators, where he played to a 2.81 goals against in 41 games in his first season.
To start this season, Hammond did not play well in the AHL. His goals against average in the minor league was 3.51 goals against, but he was still called out because of need.
Lehner was to be the starter until Anderson returned, and Hammond was not going to see any time at all. However, on February 16th the 27 year old was called on, and he’s won every game since.
The path Hammond has taken to the NHL has not been a typical one, but at the same time, he’s made the most of his opportunity. While he has been overlooked as a goalie prospect, he now is getting his chance to shine and he might be what gets the Senators back into the playoffs.