Okay, so maybe the title is a little harsh, but bear with me.

Travis Zajac’s goal just 5:39 into overtime last night assured a Game 7 between the Devils and Panthers. It also ensured that I still wouldn’t truly get my playoff overtime fix.

A lot of hockey fans are caught up in the fact that with 14 overtime games in the first round, we’re now just one more OT game away from tying the record of 15 in one round, set back in 2001. We’re also halfway to the all time record of 28 overtime games in one post-season, set in the 1993 playoffs.

In terms of volume of overtime games, this post-season is obviously already up there with the best of them. But if you ask me, the most memorable overtime moments come in the absolute marathons. Nothing says playoff hockey to me like staying up late to watch a triple-overtime thriller.

The only problem is that in the last two years, we haven’t gotten one of those magical thrillers.

Through 45 games of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs, no contest has gone past the 3:34 mark of a second overtime period.
Through 89 games of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, no game went past the 14:51 mark of a second overtime period.

In fact, we haven’t had a game go into triple-overtime since the Senators beat the Penguins in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal on April 22, 2010. If my math is correct, 190 playoff games have come and gone since we last saw two teams play a sixth period in one game, and to me, that means we’re missing out.

There was at least one triple-OT game in each playoffs from 2002 until 2010, with 14 total games of six periods or more over those eight post-seasons, including some quadruple and even quintuple-overtime games. And if we don’t see any triple-OT games through the rest of these playoffs, it will be the first time since 1992 and 1993 that we go two full seasons without one.

So sure, we may very well be seeing a record number of overtime games this year, but until I see some truly memorable marathon games, I’m simply not satisfied.

Are you?

On to the links…