They say the winners get their names written in the history books, which is why you might not have heard of Lukas Dostal.
The majority of NHL fans would be hard-pressed to name the backup goalie on the third-worst team in the league, but the Anaheim Ducks seem to have their feathers ruffled after a Toronto Sun headline after the Leafs beat them on their home pond Wednesday night.
In a repost on X (formerly known as Twitter) on Thursday, the Ducks called out the Sun for its headline referring to Dostal as a “no-name goalie.”
The team’s social media account wrote “His name is Lukas Dostal. He had 55 saves last night. He was NHL Rookie of the Month in October.
“Be better, @TheTorontoSun.”
To his credit, Dostal played a great game while starting in place of John Gibson, who was out with an illness. In fact, he set a Ducks franchise record by making 55 saves on the Leafs 57 shots on goal.
If the Ducks had bothered to read the story, written by Lance Hornby, they would’ve found a complimentary tone, complete with praise from Leafs star and game-winning goal scorer Auston Matthews.
“It was a little bit (shocking),” Matthews told the media in Anaheim of Dostal’s dominance. “You try and think ‘next one’s going in, next one’s going in’, but he played a hell of a game and you have to tip your hat to him.”
Not too shabby for the “rookie.”
Dostal has actually played in three NHL seasons now, with 17 starts during the 2022-23 campaign – in which Anaheim finished dead-last in the league with a 23-47-12 record. He secured just four wins with 10 losses in regulation and three more in overtime and shootouts.
But who are we to question the NHL’s eligibility standards for rookies?
It should be noted that Dostal was just 1-7 prior to the loss to Toronto and his goals-against average of 3.53 has him tied for 52nd in the league among eligible players — only six active goalies rank worse.
To his credit, Dostal is trying his best to keep his mediocre team afloat and setting a record for a franchise named after a series of kids movies is nothing to shake your stick at.
“If it’s a 20-shot or 40-shot (game), at the end of the day I’m just trying to make sure I try to stop every single puck,” Dostal told reporters in the locker room after the game. “That’s my job. I don’t really worry about how many shots it is.”
That’s good news because the Ducks have allowed the seventh-most shots on goal this season, with 1,212 pucks flying at their net.
So, while the NHL team may be asking the Toronto Sun to “be better,” perhaps they should take their own advice on the ice.
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