Yandle of Flyers ties NHL record for consecutive games played at 964
PHILADELPHIA CREAM — Keith Yandle played his 964th consecutive NHL game on Monday, tying the record held by Doug Jarvis, when the Philadelphia Flyers defenseman skated his first shift in a Lost 3-1 to the Dallas Stars at the Wells Fargo Center.
Yandle had a shot on goal in 13:39 of ice time.
“When I saw the guys cheering me on, standing up, and all the fans, it really meant a lot,” Yandle said. “Your teammates, the guys you play with, the guys you play against, when they congratulate you and tell you they’re proud of you. It hits home, it means a lot. It’s definitely a good thing .
“I tried to keep it as normal as possible, doing the same thing, the same routine and just worrying about the game. I think for me it was just kind of as normal a day as possible. .”
Yandle can get past Jarvis when the Flyers play the New York Islanders on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET; MSG+, NBCSP, ESPN+, NHL LIVE).
“It’s the love of the game and the fun,” Yandle said Sunday. “At the end of the day, we’re playing a game that we all dreamed of playing growing up.
“I remember Ray Whitney telling me when I was young, as long as there’s an NHL symbol on your jersey, that means you’re having a good day. So I didn’t take that. for granted, that we play in the best leagues in the world with the best guys. It’s really a blessing to wear an NHL uniform every day.
Jarvis had held the record since December 26, 1986, when he played his 915th consecutive game, surpassing the mark held by Garry Unger.
“I think it’s great,” Jarvis said. “I want every player to have the ability to play this game and play it injury-free. … It’s a credit to him and I’m happy he’s able to build a career like this.”
Yandle already has the longest streak of consecutive games played by a defenseman; Jay Bouwmeester is second with 737 games. Arizona Coyotes forward Phil Kessel has the second longest active streak at 940 games.
“It’s an incredible achievement,” Flyers coach Mike Yeo said. “You have to love the game and you have to be able to fight off illness, injury. A level of professionalism to come to the rink every day and be ready to go. And he’s a phenomenal teammate and I thought that he was playing a [heck] of a game tonight.”
Stars coach Rick Bowness was an assistant to the Coyotes when they selected Yandle in the fourth round (105th overall) of the 2005 NHL Draft and remembers him from his first training camp.
“He’s a great skater,” Bowness said ahead of Monday’s game. “Great skaters can usually play longer and they avoid a lot of extra hits because of their skating ability. And Keith has clearly always been a great skater, that’s always been his strength. … He’s a great Boy he had a wonderful career. I had him when he was a rookie and I’m happy for him. I hope he continues like that.