Garret Sparks becomes first Leafs goaltender to earn shutout in NHL debut

Jeff Veillette
November 30 2015 09:03PM

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Photo Credit: Tom Szczerbowski/USA TODAY Sports

At this point last year, Garret Sparks was in the ECHL, putting up extremely solid numbers for the Orlando Solar Bears while the Toronto Marlies slowly inched their way out of the AHL's gutter. It wasn't the pathway he had planned to take at the start of the season and the then 21-year-old was starting to second guess his place in pro hockey.

In the twelve months that ensued, he rebuilt his technique, changed his attitude, spent extra time in the gym, and set his ambitions on earning his way back up the ranks. Which brought him tonight; another unplanned appearance on another team within the organization, but this time, he was looking upward.

Sparks took total advantage of the opportunity, becoming the first Leafs goalie to post a shutout in his NHL debut.

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Monday Mailbag: What's up with that new goalie?

Cat Silverman
November 30 2015 01:29PM

Hey, guys! It's Cat Goalieman here to do your Monday Mailbag; I've been collecting your questions since yesterday, and I'm here to provide you with all (kind of) the answers. 

(FWIW, the answer is "Goat". #PatsNation4Lyfe.)

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LGD: #HereComeTheOilers

Jon Steitzer
November 30 2015 12:08PM

Tonight the Leafs are playing against a team that wins the lottery more than Ms. Cleo's best customer. They are playing against a team that figured the backup goaltender for the Presidents Trophy winning team must have been just that good that he can be their number one. The Leafs are playing against a team that traded Jeff Petry and Martin Marincin while having the worst defense in the league and replaced them with Andrej Sekara, Eric Gryba, and Griffin Reinhart and declared they've improved. Tonight the Leafs play against the only team who Leafs fans can pity the fans of. 


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TLN Player Power Rankings: November 30, 2015

Jon Steitzer
November 30 2015 10:00AM

We are at the end of November and it certainly went better than October, Thanks to Reimer. The past week was decidedly less good, and with only two games to base rankings off it makes for some interesting power rankings. The fact that the games were a shootout loss to Boston and an overflowing toilet of a performance against Washington make the Power Rankings a little more challenging. As such we'll take some liberties with them this week.

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The IceCaps are finally the rival the Marlies were promised, and possibly their kryptonite

Jeff Veillette
November 30 2015 08:55AM

Photo Credit: Christian Bonin /

This story begins on April 29th, 2005. A few weeks after Kyle Wellwood ended the St. John's Maple Leafs' regular season with a shootout winner immortalized on potato-era YouTube, the team was eliminated by the Manitoba Moose in the first round of the players. It was a quiet ending; a 4-0 shutout to cap off a 4-1 series, and for most teams, they'd move on with some dejection, start training, and come back in October to give it another go.

The St. John's Maple Leafs never came back.

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