When the new NHL season opened last Wednesday, the internet was full of predictions. We're a long way off from knowing whether any of those guesses will come true, but it's safe to say that few people predicted the high-scoring start that we've seen.
Did anyone see the Chicago Blackhawks opening their season by pounding the two-time defending champ, the Pittsburgh Penguins 10 to 1? (Ten goals in one game? Against the best team in hockey? That's amazing!) Or how about the fact that both the Blackhawks and the Maple Leafs had scored 15 goals in only their first two games? That's a lot of scoring.
Meanwhile, the fact that both Oilers superstar, Connor McDavid and Capitals sharpshooter, Alex Ovechkin opened their season with a hat trick (three goals in a game) is impressive, but not exactly shocking. After all, they're two of the best goal scorers in hockey. And McDavid didn't even score once in the Oilers' second game. These things balance out, you know? It's not that nuts.
We're sorry, what was that? Ovechkin did what? He scored four goals in his second game? Seven goals in two games from one player?
Okay, now you have our attention!
Never been done in 100 years
By scoring three times against the Ottawa Senators on October 5, and then four goals against the Montreal Canadiens on October 7, Alexander Ovechkin did something that hasn't been done in the NHL in 100 years. He opened his season with back-to-back hat tricks.
In 1917, three players did this: Cy Denneny, Joe Malone, and Reg Noble (which is pretty amazing in itself). But if people in 1917 thought that this kind of hat trickery was going to be the norm, they were wrong. For the next century, no one — not Gretzky, not Lemieux, not Crosby, not Selanne — would be able to match this feat.
Until Ovechkin did last week.
So, the obvious question is: Can he make it three-in-a-row? We'll end the suspense now. He didn't. Last night, the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Washington Capitals 4–3...probably because Ovechkin didn't even score once.
But that takes nothing away from his incredible feat. One week in, and the NHL is already breaking records. It's a great time to watch hockey!