Legendary Steelers’ goalie Jody Lehman will be one of the first to toast Ervins Mustukovs if he matches or surpasses his shut-out record for Sheffield.
Lehman has held the highest number of blank-sheets for the club in its history.
But the present-day netminder ‘Moose’ is one away from equalling the number (24.)
The Canadian will be pleased for the Latvian if he manages it, either this weekend or beyond.
“Like any other records, they are there to be broken” he said.
“Especially when you only play for a team for certain amount of years (Lehman had four seasons at the Arena)
“Someone with more pedigree comes along and goes on real good runs like Ervins has.
“I was fortunate to play with a strong teams in my last two seasons which helped me achieve things I probably would have not at different clubs.”
Lehman says the shut outs are a ‘feather in the cap’ of any goaltender.
“They are confidence boosters” he added.
“They drive your goals-against average down which is always nice. I was a stat freak. When I went on my shutout runs, I tried to put myself in position in the first period to have clean sheet, then carry that into the mid stages and the next thing you know you had one period left to earn a shutout.
“So I’d think: ‘The boys are playing well tonight, make a few saves in the first two periods and come the third if I have to step up, step it up to achieve the clean sheet and the win.”
As for Mustukovs, he said: “I do not know him personally, from what I hear from everyone over there he has a lot of character - probably the most important talent you could have as a professional athlete.”
Lehman, who arrived at Sheffield from Coventry Blaze, said: “I am a real big fan of his style, very sound and clean style, unlike me I was kind of all over the place!”
Lehman said his highlight shut outs “would probably be the two play off final games, but besting my old coach and friend Paul Thompson and Coventry, who didn’t want to reward me with a higher salary three years prior after winning the Grand Slam.
“It was a pretty great moment for me on a personal note.
“Secondly beating Nottingham Panthers in play off final the next season, what made that so fun was the rivalry between the two teams and organisations.”
Check out the stats at: http://www.steelersstats.co.uk/total_net.htm