Steve Buzinski

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Steve Buzinski
Born (1917-10-15)October 15, 1917
Dunblane, Saskatchewan, Canada
Died February 20, 1992(1992-02-20) (aged 74)
Swift Current, Saskatchewan, Canada
Height 5 ft 8 in (173 cm)
Weight 140 lb (64 kg; 10 st 0 lb)
Position Goaltender
Caught Left
Played for New York Rangers
Playing career 1934–1951

Steven Rudolph Buzinski (October 15, 1917 – February 20, 1992) was a Canadian professional ice hockey goaltender who played 9 games for the New York Rangers in the National Hockey League in 1942.[1]

Playing career[edit]

Born in Dunblane, Saskatchewan, Buzinski was brought to Swift Current, Saskatchewan in 1938 to play goal for the senior league Swift Current Indians where they competed for Allan Cup berths in the 1940s, winning the western Canadian senior championship in 1940 and 1941, and making it to the regional finals in 1942.[1]

Ravaged by wartime enlistments - the Rangers, during the 1943 season, fielded two 17-year-olds at various points, along with several other teenagers and minor leaguers. New York lost its starting goaltender from the previous season because of the enlistment of regular goaltender Sugar Jim Henry. To replace him, Rangers' manager Lester Patrick hoped to obtain the services of minor-leaguer Omer Kelly, but he was fixed in a wartime manufacturing job in Baltimore.[2] Buzinski was invited to try out for the team in training camp, and did well enough to be named the starter going into the regular season.

Behind a notably weak Rangers lineup which had only Ott Heller from its previous lineup on defense, and which spent most of the season in last place, Buzinski fared poorly, allowing 55 goals in his nine games as the team's starting goaltender. He provoked several colorful anecdotes, among which was in making his first save in a game, to the glove side, and telling Heller "Nothing like it, Ott, just like picking apples off a tree" before going on to surrender ten goals in that match.[3]

While his worst record came in the season's first four games - in which he allowed 33 goals, including a 10–4 loss to the Montreal Canadiens on November 8, otherwise notable for surrendering Maurice Richard's first NHL goal,[3] and a 12–5 loss to Detroit in which Red Wings star Carl Liscombe set the then-NHL record for points in a game with 7 [4] - after an 8–6 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on November 28, Rangers' management had had enough. Replaced with Jimmy Franks,[5] Buzinski was demoted to the Rangers' AHL New Haven Eagles farm team on December 3 to practice with the club, with coach Frank Boucher saying, "If they think enough of him, he will get a chance to show what he can do in a regular game."[6] Buzinski subsequently enlisted, never playing another professional game, and after the war returned to the Swift Current Indians senior team, where he played until retiring from organized hockey in 1953.


Buzinzki finished his NHL career with a record of 2-6-1 and a 6.10 goals against average. His second and final win, a 5–3 victory over the Chicago Black Hawks on November 10,[7] was noteworthy in that it was the last regular-season overtime game played for over 40 years. League president Frank Calder eliminated them 11 days later as part of wartime cutbacks.[8] They were restored in 1983.

In civilian life, Buzinski worked for 41 years as a plant breeder for Agriculture Canada during and after his hockey career,[1] as well as coaching hockey at the intermediate level. The nickname "The Puck Goes Inski" is associated with Buzinski, but there are no contemporaneous uses of the moniker,[9][10] which appears to have been invented by hockey writer Stan Fischler sometime in the 1970s.[11] Buzinski's own comment on the origin of the nickname was "I have no idea at all. A lot of this is a figment of somebody's imagination."

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season and playoffs[edit]

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP W L T Min GA SO GAA GP W L T Min GA SO GAA
1934–35 Saskatoon Nutana SCJHL 6 5 0 1 420 8 1 1.37 2 0 2 0 120 8 0 4.00
1935–36 Prince Albert St. Marks SAHA 2 0 2 0 120 17 0 8.50
1936–37 Prince Albert Mintos SSHL 2 120 13 0 6.50
1937–38 Swift Current Indians SIHA
1938–39 Swift Current Indians SIHA
1939–40 Swift Current Indians SIHA
1940–41 Swift Current Indians SIHA
1941–42 Swift Current Indians SIHA 8 6 1 1 480 16 0 2.00
1942–43 New York Rangers NHL 9 2 6 1 560 55 0 5.89
1942–43 Swift Current Indians SIHA
1945–46 Swift Current Indians SIHA
1946–47 Swift Current Indians SIHA
1947–48 Swift Current Indians SIHA
1948–49 Swift Current Indians SIHA
1949–50 Swift Current Indians SIHA
1950–51 Swift Current Indians SIHA 24 10 11 3 1470 80 0 3.37 5 1 3 1 310 21 0 4.06
NHL totals 9 2 6 1 560 55 0 5.89


  1. ^ a b c "Rookie Goalie Who Played At Nanaimo May Make Rangers". Vancouver Sun. October 21, 1942. Retrieved 18 April 2011.
  2. ^ "Patrick To Choose Goaltender Soon". Montreal Gazette. October 24, 1942. Retrieved 17 April 2011.
  3. ^ a b "Richard After No. 325 in Tonight's Encounter". Calgary Herald. November 1, 1952. Retrieved 18 April 2011.
  4. ^ "Red Wings Make NHL History". Windsor Daily Star. November 6, 1942. Retrieved 18 April 2011.
  5. ^ Coleman, Charles L. (1969). The Trail of the Stanley Cup, Vol II. Kendall/Hunt. p. 454.
  6. ^ "Buzinski Farmed to New Haven," Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, December 3, 1942.
  7. ^ Coleman, Charles L. (1969). The Trail of the Stanley Cup, Vol II. Kendall/Hunt. p. 459.
  8. ^ Coleman, Charles L. (1969). The Trail of the Stanley Cup, Vol II. Kendall/Hunt. p. 453.
  9. ^ ""The Puck Goes Inski" (Google Search)". Retrieved March 18, 2023.
  10. ^ "Search".
  11. ^ Klein, Jeff Z. & Reif, Karl-Eric (1986). The Klein and Reif Hockey Compendium. McClelland and Stewart.

External links[edit]