Mr. Speaker, at 8:42 p.m. on Saturday night, the NHL podcast Spittin' Chiclets posted in capital letters on Twitter, “WE GOT A ZAMBONI DRIVER IN NET”. In the second period of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Carolina Hurricanes game, the unbelievable happened. Carolina had already lost goalie James Reimer to injury in the first period when in the second, backup goalie Petr Mrazek, also got hurt.
With no goalies, Carolina had to use an EBUG. EBUG is not a computer virus, it stands for “emergency backup goalie”. Sure he plays net, but never when it has meant so much, in front of so many, as both teams battled for playoff spots.
It was a rough start for Ayres, but he settled in, stopping every shot he faced in the third period, securing a Carolina win and being named first star of the game. His wife Sarah's reaction on Twitter said it best and likely reflected what all Canadians who were watching, including me, were thinking, but it would be unparliamentary of me to say what she posted.
David Ayres will not win the Vezina Trophy, but he captured the country's imagination at a time when we needed something and someone to cheer for.