Former NAHL MVP Kinkaid nets first career NHL shutout
February 14, 2016
Congratulations go out to NAHL alum Keith Kinkaid for his first NHL shutout this weekend. Truth be told, life as a backup hasn't been easy for the New Jersey Devils goaltender, especially when asked to play second fiddle to NHL All-Star, and fellow NAHL alum Cory Schneider.
But whenever the 26-year-old has had his number called, the effort has usually given the Devils an opportunity for a win. He did it again Sunday when he made 28 saves to secure his first NHL shutout and help the Devils to a 1-0 victory against the Los Angeles Kings at Prudential Center.
"Keith's in a little bit of a unique situation where he probably has played less games than most backups in the NHL so it's that ability to stay ready when you go through times where you don't play and then, when you get your start, that you go in and still be yourself," Devils coach John Hynes said. "You can't go in and feel as though you need to do something more to get more playing time.
"I credit our goalie coach Chris Terreri; he's done a great job with both our goalies and I think [Kinkaid] has done a fantastic job of being able to stay ready and perform when called upon."
Kinkaid received all the support he would need on a power-play goal by David Schlemko 5:19 into the first period for the Devils (29-21-7), winners of three straight and 4-1-2 since the NHL All-Star break.
"[A shutout] has been a long time coming," Kinkaid said. "I can't even remember my last shutout but it's good to finally get it off my back; hopefully it opens the flood gates. It's not easy as a backup, but it's also fun because I like being along for the ride and knowing that whenever they need me, I'll be ready. I just have to be mentally strong."
The shutout was the first for Kinkaid since Oct. 21, 2014, when he made 22 saves with Albany of the American Hockey League in a 4-0 win against Wilkes Barre/Scranton, coached by Hynes.
Kinkaid was the NAHL MVP and Goaltender of the Year during the 2008-09 season while playing for the St. Louis Bandits, leading them to their third consecutive Robertson Cup that season.