Friday, 11 November 2016

Is That Goal For Or Against?

Occasionally, the people keeping statistics for the NHL have to be on their toes. Counting things like hits and shots can be difficult enough when trying to determine what qualifies as a hit or shot, but things get a little more difficult with other stats. Tonight, Nikolaj Ehlers decided he wanted to be all over the scoresheet by contributing to both teams' efforts tonight. The game-winning goal wasn't anything he was planning, I'm sure, as he helped Rene Bourque's stats totals with his effort in overtime.

I'm not going to say anything. Here's the video.
Oi vay. I know what Ehlers was trying to do in terms of reversing the puck off the end-boards, but that puck has to go BEHIND the net. Instead, he fired it through Toby Enstrom's legs and past a startled Michael Hutchinson to give the Colorado Avalanche a free point as they took this game 3-2 in overtime. For Ehlers, it was a mistake, but Bourque didn't seem to mind capitalizing off that mistake.

"I'll take 20 more of those," Bourque told reporters, smiling. "I was just behind the net and it kind of got moved to the corner and we were still battling two-on-two and he got the loose puck and just fired it. I didn't even see it."

To Ehlers' credit, he did record assists on both Winnipeg goals to give him a two-point night on the positive side of things. It was the final goal, though, that most wanted to know about once Ehlers emerged from the locker room.

"I felt some pressure from two guys and thought I had some support," Ehlers said. "I tried to get the puck off the boards and to Toby. The puck got past him and into the net."

That's a pretty succinct summation. Every team get hits with a bad break or some bad luck at times, and maybe the Hockey Gods felt it was Winnipeg's time for one of those breaks to go against them. The only problem? They gave up the extra point to a division rival. While no one will point to that single point as the make-or-break factor if Winnipeg misses the playoffs and Colorado makes the playoffs, but every point counts when playing a division rival. As the saying goes, win in your division and you'll make the playoffs.

Nikolaj Ehlers will bounce back. The Jets will need to be ready for Sunday as the Los Angeles Kings visit MTS Centre. If they are going to make up some ground, taking points off the Pacific Division becomes that much more important!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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