The NHL hit triple digit shootouts (100), setting a dubious milestone on the same day the midway point in the NHL schedule was reached in the schedule altered Olympics campaign.
Both NHL milestones – 100 shootouts and the midway point – took the lowest amount of games and days to reach in post lockout history.
The NHL’s midway point was ushered in when the Carolina Hurricanes visited the Nashville Predators to play the official game number 650 of the 1230 game schedule.
As the puck dropped in Music City, the 2-1 shootout win by the Atlanta Thrashers over the New York Rangers gained significance registering the season’s 100th shootout.
The NHL exploded to the midway point (Jan. 7, 2010) quicker than any other post lockout season: even in 2005-06 when NHL players participated in the Turin Olympics, game 650 occured on Jan. 13, 2006. In 2006-07, midway was Jan. 11, 2007; 2007-08, and Jan. 10, 2008.
Midway was Jan. 15, 2009 last season.
In previous seasons, the 100th shootout occured:
2005-06: Mar. 3, 2006
2006-07: Feb. 6, 2007
2007-08: Feb. 6, 2008
2008-09: Feb. 10, 2009
A record setting pace for shootouts this season, breaking them down into 10 game segments indicated how the final 10-game segment took 15 days and 124 games to reach in comparison to the average of 8 days and 66 games:
The 99th shootout occured five days prior (Jan. 2) involving the Thrashers again, this time in a 6-5 loss to the NY Islanders, giving the Big Apple a hand in setting up and surpassing the record milestone. It took five days to reach triple digits indications of a league wide slow down in the skills competition to end contests.