Former New York Rangers goalie Steve Valiquette is now minding the net for CSKA Moscow of the Kontinental Hockey League. On Monday, he was honored to take part in a grand KHL tradition in a game against Dinamo Riga: Getting benched by his coach after giving up an embarrassing long-distance blooper goal.
In Russia, puck catches you!
This goaltending gaffe came on a shot from Riga right winger Juris Stals, who as hockey irony would have it was a New York Rangers 9th-round pick in 2001. (His last stop in North America was with the Quad City Mallards of the IHL last season.) Picking up the primary assist on this goal? Former NHL great Sandis Ozolinsh -- another former New York Ranger.
This was the second goal surrendered by Valiquette on just nine shots in 23:15, and he was pulled in favor of the slightly larger name of Sergei Gaiduchenko. This is reminiscent of another former NHL goaltender getting yanked after a blooper: Karri Ramo, who rode the pine for Avangard Omsk after he surrendered a goal from his opponents' crease.
Oh, Steven Valiquette. Not a good year for anyone tangentially related to Spider-Man on Broadway.