Artem Anisimov was almost a goalie for the Ottawa Senators.
Anisimov was forced to dress as the emergency backup goalie for the Senators against the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night after goalies Matt Murray and Marcus Hogberg both got injured.
It all started pre-game when starter Anton Forsberg sustained a lower-body injury in warm-ups. Backup goalie Matt Murray started the game in his place but suffered a lower-body injury in the second period.
Marcus Hogberg, who was on the taxi squad, was forced into the game as Murray’s replacement.That left the Senators in need of a backup goalie in the event Hogberg also went down.
Due to COVID-19 protocols this NHL season, there are no emergency backup goalies in the arenas. This means the Sens would need to select someone on their team. Enter Artem Anisimov.
Anisimov, who was also on the taxi squad, suited up as the backup goalie against the Canucks. He would have been forced to make his NHL goaltending debut had something happened to Hogberg.
“Didn’t get to make my @nhl goaltending debut but I was ready. #artygoalie”, Anisimov posted on his Instagram account Sunday.
Anisimov shared photos of him getting on the gear and warming up.
View this post on Instagram
The Senators twitter account shared video of Anisimov warming up for his potential debut with the hashtag #Artygoalie.
— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) April 25, 2021
“Yeah Arty. We had Arty dressed and ready to go”, said coach D. J. Smith in his post-game presser.
Anisimov ultimately wasn’t needed in a 4-2 loss to the Canucks, but that would’ve been some type of story.The 32-year-old has played his entire NHL career at forward and was reportedly the only member of the Sens taxi squad who was willing to lace up the pads.
The NHL is no stranger to emergency backup situations. Back in 2018, Scott Foster, a 36-year-old accountant, was forced into action as Chicago’s emergency backup goaltender against the Winnipeg Jets. Foster entered the game in the third period and stopped all seven shots he faced to help Chicago preserve a 6-2 victory. His post-game interview was one for the ages.
You also can’t forget David Ayres, the 42-year-old zamboni driver for the Toronto Marlies who was forced into action as the emergency backup goaltender for the Carolina Hurricanes against the Maple Leafs in February 2020. Ayres entered the game in the second period and stopped eight of 10 shots to help the Canes garner a 6-3 victory.
Emergency backup goaltender David Ayres is first star of the game and gets an ovation from Leafs fans pic.twitter.com/5ARqtH1Re3
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) February 23, 2020
We were denied seeing Anisimov in goaltending action Saturday night, but that doesn’t mean we can’t speculate about how entertaining it would have been.