The 2019-20 NHL season had many incredible moments before it was paused March 12 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus, and now fans can decide which one was the best.
The Greatest Moments of the NHL Season … So Far is down to 16 entries from the original bracket of 64 with the second round now complete. Fans will vote on one matchup per day, ultimately deciding the greatest moment up until this point.
Fans can vote on Twitter and Instagram each day from noon until 10 a.m. ET the next day. Each day, the winner of that matchup will be revealed, and a new set of moments will go head-to-head.
Though fans will have the ultimate say, two NHL.com staffers will weigh in on the matchup each day to give his or her opinion on which one should advance to the third round.
In the matchup Friday, Andrei Svechnikov‘s lacrosse-style goal for the Carolina Hurrricanes defeated Elvis Merzlikins‘ shutout run for the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The matchup Saturday has Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin passing Mario Lemieux for 10th in NHL history with his 691st goal Jan. 18 taking on Blake Coleman‘s one-handed goal for the New Jersey Devils in their season opener Oct. 4.
Brian Compton, deputy managing editor
Ovechkin is one of the select few who can share a feat with Lemieux, but his ascension on the NHL goals list provided the opportunity to be among some of the all-time greats when he passed Lemieux (690) and tied Steve Yzerman for ninth (692) with a hat trick against the New York Islanders during a Saturday matinee at Nassau Coliseum. Ovechkin not only enjoyed the individual achievements, he also helped the Capitals rally for a 6-4 win after they trailed 4-1 at the start of the third period. When the NHL returns from this pandemic, one of the many treats will be the chance to see Ovechkin continue his pursuit of Wayne Gretzky as the all-time NHL goals leader (894).
Dan Rosen, senior writer
This isn’t a vote about career achievements. If it were, it would be hard to vote against Ovechkin. No, this is instead a vote for a single great moment this season. With all due respect to Ovechkin, his 691st NHL goal, scored off a curl-and-drag around a defender and with a shot that went in off another defender, did not compare in its level of greatness to Coleman’s goal against the Winnipeg Jets at Prudential Center. That was extraordinary. That was one of the best individual efforts of the season. A length-of-the-ice special finished with a one-handed, stick-lift, far-side shot while falling down. Ovechkin is almost certainly a future Hockey Hall of Famer. But Coleman’s goal is a worthy candidate for play of the year. It should be celebrated for the moment it was.
Tweet from @NHL: Andrei Svechnikov’s (@ASvechnikov_37) lacrosse-style goal is moving on!Tough choice between Blake Coleman’s (@BColes25) one-handed beauty and Alex Ovechkin’s (@ovi8) hat trick to pass Mario Lemieux. Who ya got? 🤔VOTE ������������