By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — You know, 2020 has been a weird one for all of us. The Stanley Cup Playoffs might as well fall in line.
For the Boston Bruins, that means waiting an extra 15 hours for the postseason to begin, but not without good reason. That delay comes thanks to the Lightning and Blue Jackets hogging all the good ice in Toronto on Tuesday afternoon and early evening and, well, into late night, as well.
Those two teams played a long hockey game. A very long hockey game. The longest hockey game most living folks have ever seen. (Be honest: When playoff games normally go into triple overtime, your eyes open up from slumber about once every 15 minutes. You’ve never seen a multiple-overtime game quite like this.)
As a result, Game 1 of the Bruins-Hurricanes series was moved from 8 p.m. on Tuesday to 11 a.m. on Wednesday. That’s probably not a whole lot of fun for the players who got themselves mentally prepared for playoff intensity, but the fourth longest game in NHL history can have some ripple effects when it’s played within a bubble. There’s just not enough ice to go around.
And in this case, a playoff game, in an arena with no fans, at a neutral site, on a weekday with a 3 p.m. start time, with seven and a half periods played. It was a pretty rare night.
Here are the five most astounding numbers from that historic game — one for each period of OT.
Games are normally 60 minutes long. This one was 150 minutes long. One-hundred-fifty minutes and 27 seconds, to be exact.
When Brayden Point finally ended the game, it came 10:27 into the fifth overtime period. The previous goal in the game was scored just 23 seconds into the third period — more than 110 minutes earlier.
It was the fourth-longest game in NHL history, and the longest game since May of 2000.
(It provided a scheduling inconvenience for the Bruins and Hurricanes, but based on that history, it’s unlikely to happen again.)
Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones is a workhorse, but even for him, this is ridiculous.
The man was on the ice for more than 65 minutes on Tuesday afternoon and evening. In doing so, he recorded the most ice time ever. By anybody. (For as long as it’s been tracked.)
It wasn’t an easy 65 minutes either … not that there is such a thing. But as you can see from the only available images of Jones from the game, most of those minutes were quite physical.
Previously, Sergei Zubov had the record, having skated for 63:51 for the Dallas Stars in the 2003 playoffs.
Unfortunately for Zubov and Jones … both players lost their games.
That’s rough. The muscles are going to be a little extra sore in the morning after the added pain of the loss.
Jones also did it without any real rest. He averaged 29:28 in the five-game qualifying series, including 26:29 of ice time in Sunday night’s deciding Game 5.
Don’t worry about him, though.
Seth Jones: "I feel fine." #CBJ
— Jeff Svoboda (@JacketsInsider) August 12, 2020
He’s just fine.
If you didn’t know Joonas Korpisalo’s name before Tuesday, you ought to now. The 26-year-old Finn stood tall and then some for Columbus, stopping 85 shots from the Lightning before ultimately allowing the game-winner.
Just like Jones, Korpisalo set NHL history with that mark, easily passing the previous all-time record of 73 saves.
It was basically three games’ worth of saves, all crammed into one. That’s a pretty fun memory for a player’s first real, non-qualifying series playoff game.
The flip side of this number would be 88, as in 88 shots on goal for Tampa. That’s a new NHL record, beating Dallas’ previous record of 76 by a mile.
(Andrei Vasilevskiy made 61 saves for Tampa, which would be a pretty big story on any other night.)
If you’ve ever watched a John Tortorella-coached team, then you know that he demands that his players block shots. Superstar goal scorer or fourth-line grinder, doesn’t matter: block the shot, stupid.
The Columbus head coach had to have been happy with his team’s effort in this one, then, as his players combined to block 62 shots. That’s a lot of dings, dents and bruises.
David Savard led the way in that department with 11 blocked shots. Vladislav Gavrikov blocked nine, while Seth Jones and Boone Jenner blocked six shots apiece. (Jenner also delivered a team-high six hits for the ultimate, certified Tough Guy Night™ .)
Of course, the Blue Jackets might have preferred for that number to have been 61 instead of 62.
FIVE OVERTIMES. pic.twitter.com/FCvZHzy67U
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) August 12, 2020
As always, the blocked shot giveth, and the blocked shot taketh away.
This one doesn’t really count, because the “hits” statistics has traditionally been the least reliable “stat” of all time. Nevertheless, the statsheet says that 105 hits were delivered in this one.
Despite having more puck control, the Lightning registered more hits, with 59 on the night. The Jackets dished out 46. Cedric Paquette and Barclay Goodrow were tied with a game-high seven hits apiece.
(Wonder if Korpisalo gets credit for his hit, though.)
Not only did the Lightning get 88 shots on net, and not only did the Blue Jackets block 62 would-be shots, but the Lightning also missed the net 38 times. Add those numbers together and you get a whopping 188 shot attempts from the Tampa Bay Lightning.
By contrast, the Blue Jackets had 111 shot attempts in the marathon affair.
Brayden Point, aka Mr. Game Winner, sure took his chances, firing 13 shots toward net. Nine got there, and two went in.
Victor Hedman wasn’t quite as successful, as he attempted 23 shots — nine of which got to the net, 12 of which were blocked, and two of which missed the net — without scoring a goal. Fellow D-man Zach Bogosian attempted 14 shots (seven on goal), while Nikita Kucherov had 16 shot attempts of his own. Erik Cernak had 12 shot attempts, Mikhail Sergachev had 14, and Blake Coleman had 12 shot attempts. None of them scored.
After all of that, let’s hope for the sake of these players’ legs and psyches, the next number they produce is zero — as in, zero overtime periods played for a little while. Just like the Bruins and Hurricanes did, we all need a bit of a breather after that one.