By Mike Cadarette
It took seven years having worn 12 different team silks, but Danny Taylor finally got his first career NHL start. At 26 years old, Taylor hopes his vagabond ways are a thing of the past as he’s in his second year with the Calgary Flames organization. After a season-and-a-half of holding down the crease with the Abbotsford Heat, Taylor earned his first NHL start on February 18 against the Phoenix Coyotes.
While the outcome of the game wasn’t ideal, Taylor received praise from Heat goalie coach Jordan Sigalet, who has worked alongside Danny for nearly two seasons, and Flames head coach Bob Hartley for his efforts in the 4-0 defeat.
“I thought Danny looked very comfortable out there,” said Sigalet. “He didn’t look out of place at all. To let in that first shot and then bounce back and play a pretty solid game, it’s impressive to see. […] But overall, you know, he just played the same game he plays here and if he keeps doing that he’ll be successful.”
Bob Hartley echoed those sentiments after the game on Monday and noted one of Taylor’s greatest assets: his mental toughness.
“I thought that he was very calm and very poised for his first start in the NHL,” Hartley explained to Flames TV after the game. “In the first period, they scored on the first shot in the first minute of the game and I was anxious to see how he would respond and I felt that he responded very well.”
In 60 starts with the Heat, Taylor has posted an outstanding 2.02 goals against average, a 0.928 save percentage and 30 wins. This season he leads the league in goals against average and sits fourth in save percentage – all while experiencing his new found fatherhood as he and his wife Danielle gave birth to their first son, Hudson, on New Year’s Day. There’s little doubt 2013 has been a roller-coaster ride for Taylor, but he’s hoping the Flames organization will finally represent home to him and his new family.