If you watched the game between the Chicago Blackhawks and Edmonton Oilers yesterday (January 28, 2023) you may have seen that the Oilers had to call up EBUG (Emergency Backup Goaltender) Matt Berlin. Stuart Skinner who was originally supposed to start was not feeling well so the Oilers named Jack Campbell Starter and called up Berlin to back him up.
That all changed in the third period with the game out of hand with the Oilers up 7-3, coach Jay Woodcraft could be seen discussing something with the players on the bench. Oilers captain Connor McDavid was the one who suggested to Woodcroft that they put Berlin into the game. According to Woodcroft, “”We wanted to make sure we did it in a respectful way, because we have nothing but respect for the Chicago Blackhawks, their players and their coaching staff. But we just wanted to give someone an opportunity they’ll remember for the rest of their life.”
With 2:26 remaining on the clock in the third period, the Oilers swapped out Jack Campbell for Matt Berlin. The Edmonton crowd went wild, the broadcasters for the Oilers got even more excited and the 25 year old Berlin made his NHL on-ice debut. Much to the delight of the fans in Edmonton, with about 48 seconds left he made his only save a blocker save off of Blackhawks defenseman Caleb Jones.
Here’s Gene Principle’s tweet moments before Berlin entered the game:
After the game, Matt Berlin was interviewed by Scott Oake on Hockey Night in Canada. It was a classic interview.
It was a pretty epic night for the young man.