The Nation Notebook: Vasilevskiy Hitting His Stride, Ovechkin's Scoring Woes, and Ekblad's Concussion

Christian Pagnani
March 13 2017 07:00AM

NNNotebook

The Nation Network Notebook is a regular feature that rounds up interesting news, stories, and rumours from around the NHL that don’t quite deserve their own article.

THE LONGEST HOCKEY GAME?

Stormhamar HC defeated the Sparta Warriors in the GET-ligaen, Norway’s top ice hockey league, in the 11th period of the game to give them a 3-2 series lead in the playoffs. 

We’ve seen some extended overtime sequences occur in the National Hockey League, but eleven periods of hockey is unheard of. The total shots almost broke 200. Triple overtime is almost like a unicorn at this point, so it’s hard to imagine the type of hockey that would be played during the 8th overtime period in any high level hockey league.

EKBLAD’S INJURY CONCERNS

The Florida Panthers have been slipping away from a playoff spot, and an injury to Aaron Ekblad could have even greater implications for the Panthers star. 

Ekblad suffered a concussion from a hit from Tampa Bay Lightning forward Gabriel Dumont on Saturday night. This must be a little concerning, as Ekblad is only 21 years old and it’s the third head injury the defenceman has had in the past 14 months. He was injured on a hit from Matt Hendricks back in January of 2016, then again from a Leo Komarov hit during the World Cup of Hockey before the season began. Ekblad’s long-term health far outweighs any Panthers’ playoff push. 

VASILEVSKIY FINDING HIS STRIDE

Neither Ben Bishop nor Andrei Vasilevskiy were having a great season for the Tampa Bay Lightning, but it appears Vasilevskiy has turned it around after Ben Bishop was dealt to Los Angeles. The Lightning’s first-round draft pick in 2012 has a 0.917 save percentage in 38 games, and has gone 5-0-1 since Bishops’ departure. Maybe a crowded crease left both goalies a little off all season, but Vasilevskiy is turning it up just in time to give the Lightning a fighting chance to make the playoffs. Meanwhile, Ben Bishop is 0-1-1 with a 0.882 save percentage for the Kings. 

DEVILS ICE COLD

The New Jersey Devils have lost 10 games in a row. Since Taylor Hall appeared on the Barstool Sports’ podcast, Spittin' Chiclets, on February 24, their playoff hopes have disappeared. This includes losing eight games in regulation, and two that went into overtime, leaving them winless in March. If you haven’t listened, it’s a fantastic podcast that features candid conversations with Ryan Whitney and Taylor Hall, where they discuss playing hockey in Canada and other topics. Hall talks about the Devil’s playoff chances and how they’re on the outside looking in, but it’s still doable if they can string a 5 or 6-game win streak together before the end of the season. Unfortunately for Hall, this will continue his playoff drought in his seven-year NHL career. 

Alex Ovechkin's new personal record

This isn't a record that Alex Ovechkin or the Capitals wanted, but here we are. Ovechkin hasn't scored a goal in ten games, and it marks the first time in his career he's gone ten games without scoring a goal. He's scored 27 goals this season, which is good for pretty much everybody else, but his 0.40 goals-per-game marks a career low. We all thought a few years back Ovechkin was over the hill, but he roared back with four-straight Rocket Richard Trophies in response, so it's probably best we don't read to far into this. 

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I like to read and write about sports. I'm @chrispagnani on Twitter.