Add John-Michael Liles
' name to the record book.
The Colorado defenseman earned an assist -- belated as it may have been -- on Daniel Winnik
's second-period goal to give him at least one assist in each of the Avalanche's first nine games. It broke the previous assist streak by a defenseman to begin a season, set by Ottawa's Filip Kuba
when he earned an assist in each of the first eight games of the 2008-09 season.
Liles earned the record-breaking assist during the second intermission of what turned out to be a 4-3 overtime loss to the Canucks in Vancouver. The secondary assist on Winnik's goal originally had been given to Kyle Quincey
. However, the traditional between-period review of all goals by NHL off-ice officials at the arena determined it was Liles that made the long outlet pass to Ryan O'Reilly
, who then passed the puck to Winnik.
Liles' nine-game assist streak is a franchise record to begin a season and also the longest by an Avalanche/Nordiques defenseman at any point of a season.
Liles took little consolation from his record-breaking performance after a tough loss to a division opponent, as well as the loss of starting goalie Craig Anderson
in the process. Anderson injured his knee during warm-ups and had to be taken out of the game. There is no word on how much time he will miss.
"When it's all said and done, it might mean something to me, but right now, it's about wins and losses," Liles told the Denver Post. "When my career's done, I can say, 'Yeah, that was a great thing,' maybe, and I can tell my kids someday, but that's about all it is right now."
Liles is the first Avs player to open the season with assists in nine-straight games. Joe Sakic
had held the previous mark, drawing an assist in eight-straight games to open the 1999-2000 season. The last Nordiques player to begin a season with points in nine straight games was Wendel Clark
(10 games) to begin the 1994-95 season for Quebec.
Liles also now owns the longest scoring streak by a Colorado defenseman at any point of a season. He surpassed Sandis Ozolinsh
, who had an eight-game point streak from Dec. 17, 1996 to Jan. 2, 1997. The last Quebec defender to have a point streak of this length was Steve Duchesne
(15 games) in 1992-93.