In most cases scoring goals in the NHL is some combination of skill and luck, with skill being the dominant part of the equation.
Sometimes, though, you get a goal so stupid, so insane, so impossibly dumb that it is entirely 100 percent luck. A play where the player in question is not even trying to score a goal, but somehow ends up scoring a goal anyway because sometimes a frozen piece of rubber on a sheet of ice surrounded by wood and plexiglass will do dumb, unpredictable things that can not be explained.
Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak scored one of those goals on Tuesday night against the St. Louis Blues.
Behold, the magic of hockey.
Look at that insanity. Cernak gains possession of the puck off the face off, hits the red line, slaps it into the zone for the rest of his teammates to chase it down, and then watches as the puck bounces off the boards, bounces again off the ice and turns toward the net, and then somehow finds the only possible opening it could find on Blues goalie Jordan Binnington to end up in the back of the net.
Cernak could shoot the puck from the red line a thousand times and never have that exact sequence of events play out ever again.
That goal, which gave the Lightning a 3-0 lead just 10 minutes into the game, came only five seconds after Corey Perry scored for the Lightning.
It is also Cernak’s first goal of the season.