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February 24, 2016

The top 10 plays in Shayne Gostisbehere’s 15-game point streak, in GIF form

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Although the Philadelphia Flyers are on track to miss the playoffs for a second consecutive season, rookie Shayne Gostisbehere is almost singlehandedly making another down year worthwhile. To put it simply, “Ghost” is fun to watch. Here is what the 22-year-old defenseman said after scoring the overtime winner in Toronto on Saturday:

"I'm living the dream. It's just cool how my teammates have been doing it with me and see how happy they get. It's awesome."

The offensive numbers that Gostisbehere is currently putting up are pretty crazy. His 15-game point streak broke Mikael Renberg’s record for a Flyers rookie. Gostisbehere also tied Chris Chelios for the longest point streak by any defenseman in the NHL in the past two decades.

Via TSN's Scott Cullen, the only rookie defensemen who have produced at a better clip offensively than Gostisbehere turned out to be Hall of Famers. What is even more impressive is that these all-time greats all started in the 1980s, when goals were much easier to come by than in 2016:

 Rookie Dmen
Mark Howe
Brian Leetch
Larry Murphy
Al MacInnis
Chris Chelios
 Phil Housley0.86
Shayne Gostisbehere

After Tuesday night’s loss in Carolina, Gostisbehere said this as his point streak came to an end:

Well, we talked about it for one more day. Five goals and 13 assists (18 points) in 15 games is a pretty good run, so I tried to rank Ghost’s top ten plays that contributed to the point streak:

10. Nice set-up to Ryan White

9-7. Power play production

Gostisbehere should be quarterbacking the Flyers’ first power-play unit for a long time. He does a very good job of getting shots on net through traffic:

6-4. Keeping the puck in at the blue line

It’s not just the shot that has made Ghost successful, though. A couple of times during the streak, he made impressive plays to keep pucks in the offensive zone and quickly found a way to get them on net. On another play, he influenced Rangers winger Tanner Glass to create a shooting lane:

3. Make it fourteen

Great pass to Michael Raffl for a slam dunk goal:

2. Make it fifteen

Jake Voracek is primarily responsible for this one, but an overtime goal to extend the streak to 15 games is always going to rank up near the top:

1. The goal

On the WIP Morning Show last week, they were talking about the plays when star athletes officially announce their arrival. They were trying to figure out the moments that basically make fans say, “That guy is really good, and he’s going to be really good in this uniform for the foreseeable future.”

Some Philadelphia examples suggested were Chase Utley hitting a grand slam in his first MLB start and Allen Iverson crossing over Michael Jordan. Another underrated one? Donovan McNabb juking Mark Carrier out of his shoes. I have no idea if Gostisbehere will pan out even close to as well as those all-timers did, but this goal against the Maple Leafs sure felt like his signature moment:

Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann