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Keith Yandle sets NHL’s longest consecutive games streak

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You may not know who Keith Yandle is but he deserves respect.

Chances are you’ll not know who Keith Yandle is however he deserves respect.
Illustration: Getty Photographs

Keith Yandle isn’t a family identify as a result of he’s spent most of his 16-year NHL profession with putrid groups, together with this season with the woebegone Flyers, who’ve someway gotten even worse since their teaching change.

Solely twice in his profession has he been on a workforce that acquired out of the primary spherical of the playoffs, attending to the convention finals with the 2012 Coyotes and 2015 Rangers. His different 5 appearances have been one-and-dones, with greater than half of Yandle’s profession spent on the skin of the playoffs trying in. Amongst lively gamers, solely Ryan Suter has appeared in additional video games than Yandle with out making it to a Stanley Cup Last.

Even so, it’s unusual that there wasn’t extra of a hubbub about Yandle approaching the NHL’s ironman document, which the 35-year-old defenseman broke on Tuesday night within the Flyers’ 4-3 loss to the Islanders. Hockey is perhaps much less common than baseball, and Yandle may not have the stature within the sport that Cal Ripken Jr. had as a two-time MVP and perennial All-Star, however enjoying in 965 consecutive NHL video games is a extra spectacular feat than taking the sector for two,632 consecutive MLB video games. Even earlier than the Chase Utley Rule, the extent of risk to a shortstop’s physique can’t presumably evaluate to a defenseman who’s averaged 21:03 of ice time per sport throughout his NHL profession.

It’s not like Yandle was simply going excessive of a recently-set document, both. Doug Jarvis’ 964-game streak ran from 1975, by way of the Canadiens’ final dynasty, all the best way to 1987. Once more, it’s not a document that was held by somebody with the stature of Lou Gehrig, and it wasn’t a document for 56 years, however Jarvis was no slouch as a four-time Stanley Cup champion and Selke Trophy winner, and his mark stood for three-and-a-half many years.

What Yandle did is a momentous achievement, and deserves his flowers, and it’s too unhealthy that there wasn’t extra of a buildup to him breaking the document. It’s all of the extra unbelievable that he’s managed to keep away from lacking any time by way of COVID protocols, which have taken so many gamers out of lineups across the league since final season. You’ll be able to play by way of ache, however you possibly can’t play by way of quarantine, in spite of everything, so managing to dodge that may be a feat of its personal, albeit one involving a hefty little bit of luck.

It’s attainable that Yandle received’t maintain the document for lengthy, both, as a result of if he does miss a sport, Phil Kessel is simply 24 video games behind him, together with his streak relationship again to 2009 as properly, and that includes a few Stanley Cup titles with the Penguins. If and when Kessel does get the document, right here’s hoping that he’s celebrated accordingly, and that he additionally will get some appreciation from the Toronto media that spent a lot time when he was with the Maple Leafs, scoring 30 objectives a yr for a hopeless workforce, appearing like he was the issue.

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