In a classic example of "boy did I tune in at the right time," I caught the final three minutes of the Vancouver Canucks playoff win over the Dallas Stars. It was in the fourth overtime. It was 3:30 in the morning. Between the opening of the fourth OT and Henrik Sedin's game-winning goal, I got sidetracked and watched an entire episode of Three's Company.
Sedin's point-blank goal on Marty Turco — let's just leave that dude alone today, all right? — came with 1:54 left in the fourth overtime. The puck punched the net's gullet seconds after another Canucks shot-on-goal doinked off the post in one of those "Jesus Christ in a mason jar, nobody's ever going to score" moments. I'm fairly certain had Sedin missed that shot, the players would have all gone to the locker room to chug spoonfuls of coffee grounds like in that one mattress commercial.
This has to be completely demoralizing for the Stars. This was just the first game of the series. Exactly how does Dallas regroup and play a second game? If Game 2 is tied in the third overtime, how many hurried shots will the Stars attempt?
Plus, they have to be sick of these marathon playoff losses. Four years ago the Stars lost to the Anaheim Mighty Ducks 4-3 in five overtimes. That was the second game of the Western Conference second round, and the Ducks went onto win that series.
Way-too-many-overtime games are not uncommon to hockey — they gotta end sometime, and the longer it goes, the sleepier everyone gets — but last night's Canucks-Stars game was the sixth longest playoff game in NHL history. The longest one — a six-overtime match between the Red Wings and Canadiens back in 1936 — happened so long ago that it was not on television. Some things never change, except for the beating heart of Mr. Furley.