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Zach Fucale photo:Steven King/Icon Sportswire

Z​ach Fucale has played more games in the ECHL than the American Hockey League in the eight years since the Montreal Canadiens made him the first goalie picked in the 2013 NHL Draft.

The 26-year-old played for nine different teams across those two leagues as a part of four NHL organizations before making his NHL debut with the Washington Capitals on Thursday.

So, it would be something of an understatement to say that was a special night for the former World Junior gold medal and two-time Spengler Cup winner, and that was before Fucale was perfect for the Capitals, stopping all 21 shots against the Detroit Red Wings with his family cheering in the stands to post his first NHL win and first NHL shutout in his first NHL game.

“One of the best moments I’ve had,” Fucale wrote in a touching Instagram post that went up early Saturday morning. “Man, was this a long, grueling, tough road.”

Fucale hoped his ability to navigate that road could inspire others going through hard times, and certainly there are lessons in his perseverance that can benefit anyone dealing with adversity. But there are also lessons specific to the position that emerged in Fucale’s interviews after that memorable game, which included a few references to “playing his system.”

What exactly does Fucale mean by “his system,” and can others benefit from it?

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