A tough year, a timeless Russian, and an NHL power couple.
Here are four things we learned in the NHL last night.
Sometimes it’s just not your year
Have you seen the movie Groundhog Day? It’s about a man named Phil, played by Bill Murray, who wakes up one morning and finds himself stuck in a time loop where a single day’s events repeat over and over no matter what he does to try to break free.
Cory Schneider is starring in his own real-life version of that film.
On Friday night, he was pulled just 9:22 into New Jersey’s game against Vegas after allowing three goals on seven shots. Everyone has a bad game. But Schneider has been having the same bad games for nearly a year now.
He hasn’t won in his last 18 appearances (0-15-3) dating back to Dec. 27, 2017. You read that correctly, 2017. Almost a full calendar has been flipped since the last time he’s earned a win. From Jan. 1 of this year until now, he owns a 4.30 goals-against average and an .858 save percentage. Suffice it to say, none of those numbers are numbers you want describing you.
In Groundhog Day, Bill Murray escapes the time loop by changing his selfish ways and embracing love. Neither of those changes seem like the solution for Schneider, but if change is the key then would a new home be the answer?
Maybe. Does another team want to give him that chance? That’s another discussion altogether.
How to go one on one with Father Time and win
For most people, getting older means accepting you can’t do all the things you did in your youth. Nights out lead to rough days instead of rough mornings, your body starts to ache in places you didn’t know you had, you see your friends every six months instead of every day.
Alexander Ovechkin isn’t most people.
During the Washington Capitals’ 6-5 win against the Carolina Hurricanes, Ovechkin scored a goal again. Three of them, actually. It was the second time in as many games he’s recorded a hat trick and the 22nd time he’s done it in his career and, after scoring his first last night, he also extended his point streak to 13 games — tying the career-high he set in 2007.
Smarter writers have already fleshed out the numbers behind his season and suggested that his current pace of over 70 goals is, in all likelihood, unsustainable. But maybe that’s why watching him do this is so viscerally satisfying.
We’d all like to think we can get better with time. Ovi, for now at least, is teaching us in real-time that it’s possible.
Greatness comes in pairs. Mulder and Scully, Lennon and McCartney, Han Solo and Chewbacca, and of course, William Karlsson and Jonathan Marchessault.
Okay, the last two have a long way to go before cementing their spot next to iconic duos like those. But on Friday night, they took another small step towards writing their names on that list.
After assisting on the second goal Vegas scored during its game against New Jersey, Marchessault joined an exclusive club of players who have amassed 100 points with the Golden Knights. The first and only other player to do it? Karlsson, who, of course, was the one who scored that second goal on Friday to give Marchessault the milestone. When the dust settled on Vegas’ 5-4 loss to the Devils, the pair had factored into the same goal 52 times during their tenure in the desert.
Some people are just better together.
Never tell them the odds
Friday night was a good one for getting your money’s worth in the NHL.
Five of the eight games played needed extra time to find a winner and of those five games, three teams completed comebacks from three or more goals down to win.
If that sounds obscure and uncommon to you, it’s because it is.
Only one other time in NHL history has such a thing happened and you have to go all the way back to Nov. 25, 1987 to find it.
Last night’s most impressive theatrics came courtesy the Capitals, Arizona Coyotes, and Devils — all of whom overcame three goal deficits in their respective matchups to win and, in the process, showed us that sometimes you just have to believe in the improbable.
What better lesson can sports give us than that.