Sports-starved hockey fans now nation’s leading experts in COVID-19 stats

Sports-starved hockey fans now nation’s leading experts in COVID-19 stats

New Brunswick — The Washington Capitals’ Alexander Ovechkin has 706 career goals, including 48 in 68 games during the 2019-20 COVID-19-shortened season.

Currently sitting 188 goals behind Wayne Gretzky, the NHL’s all-time leading goal scorer, it would take Ovechkin approximately 3.74 more seasons to surpass the Great One, a feat many thought they’d never see. Ovechkin, who will be 35 years old at the (hopeful) upkeep of the 2020-21 season, averages 0.613 goals per game across his 15-year NHL career, which is 0.012 more than Wayne Gretzky himself.

With the NHL, NBA and many other sports’ seasons being suspended indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic, sports fans and statistic-gurus everywhere have found themselves with a surplus of time and a lack of mental stimulus.

“I don’t even really know who I am without hockey,” a visibly distraught Mark Langford told The Manatee. “I tried watching SportsCenter today, but…I just couldn’t. It was too depressing. I actually turned on the news, something I haven’t done in years. I have all this useless hockey knowledge in my head: playoff odds, point differentials, goals-per-game…What am I supposed to do with all that now?”

COVID-19, a strain of coronavirus, is a global pandemic that has affected all facets of people’s lives, but for the truly devout sports fans, it has opened a new interest.

“I watched SportsCenter three times on repeat before work every morning, and spent all my evenings watching hockey. Now I’m forced to watch the news instead, so of course I’m worried about COVID-19,” Langford explained.

“I mean, we’ve currently had approximately 182,473 cases worldwide, and while 81,691 of those have recovered, we’ve already seen 7,955 deaths, including five in Canada. Of the roughly 107,929 active cases, 7% of them are in serious of critical condition. I mean, if you look at the linear scale, it’s rising exponentially. It’s something we all need to be prepared for.”

Over two thirds of coronavirus-related deaths have come from China and Italy combined, though with more cases being reported every hour, those numbers could quickly change.

“I check the stats every morning, once at lunch, and then pretty much constantly throughout the evening,” said workplace hockey-pool aficionado Greg Carson. “There’s rumours that my work might shut down, so, if that actually happens, I guess I’ll be spending at least two weeks at home. I’ll be starting up a Covid-19 podcast if that happens, where I can discuss the stats and the stories from around the world. I’m thinking about calling it Coughin’ Chiclets.”


Photo by Robert Scoble

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