Game-winning goals can be a silly stat.
For example: there were two games on Feb. 13. In one, the Coyotes beat the Flames 5-0. The game-winning goal came relatively early in the first period, only nobody knew it was the game-winner at the time. It wasn’t a high pressure situation; it was a standard part of play, and yet, game-winner.
Then, on the other hand, you had the other game of the night in which the Rangers beat the Blue Jackets 3-2. The game-winning goal was a very high pressure situation, seeing as how it came about a minute and a half after Columbus tied the game in the third. In that game, the game-winner had a lot more meaning on an emotional scale.
Jimmy Vesey’s the one who got it. It’s his fourth game-winner of the season, which is actually pretty impressive. Via the Elias Sports Bureau:
The only other rookies with at least four game-winners this season are Toronto’s Auston Matthews (6) and Mitch Marner (4), and Winnipeg’s Patrik Laine (4). Vesey has also matched the highest game-winning goal total in one season by a Rangers rookie over the last 30 years. The other Rangers rookies with four game-winners in one season since 1986-87 were Ulf Dahlen (1987-88), Darren Turcotte (1989-90), Tony Amonte (1991-92), Mike York (1999-2000) and Nigel Dawes (2007-08).
Some of those names are impressive! Others are not. But it’s still a neat stat.
Vesey’s other game-winners have been:
- Oct. 17, a 7-4 win over the Sharks. Vesey made it a 5-2 game 12:37 into the third period, the Sharks scored twice after, the Rangers got a couple of empty netters.
- Oct. 22, a 4-2 win over the Capitals. Washington had a 2-0 lead, but the Rangers got three in the second - including two by Vesey within three minutes - to take the lead.
- Nov. 29, a 3-2 win over the Hurricanes. Carolina went up 2-0. The Rangers fought back, and it was Vesey who scored with just over five minutes to go in the game to win it.
One of those games - the Sharks one - wasn’t a particularly high pressure situation. The other three? Vesey’s game-winners have come at pretty emotional times, which makes things just all that much sweeter.