bloopers

Center-ice goal is latest low moment for Devils’ Schneider

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The lows have been far, far more frequent for Cory Schneider during the last few seasons, to the point that it was fair to wonder if he’d ever restore his NHL career. Monday represented one of the lowest lows, even if center-ice goals happen to just about all goalies – from the elite to the going obsolete.

Schneider could do little but shake his head after Sam Reinhart‘s bouncing attempt beat him from center ice. You can watch that unfortunate moment in the video above this post’s headline.

That lucky/sneaky goal marks the 20th of the season for Reinhart, who’s quietly been one of the more promising stories of a disappointing finish for the Buffalo Sabres.

It isn’t lost on Hockey Twitter that the New Jersey Devils are probably better off losing, so at least there’s that?

This unfortunate gaffe actually does inspire a look at Schneider’s recent stats, and that’s where there’s at least some muted optimism.

Heading into Monday’s game, Schneider’s managed a promising .920 save percentage in his last 14 games. That’s quite an improvement considering Schneider only played in nine games before February, slogging through a miserable .852 save percentage.

A couple promising months don’t erase a couple very discouraging years for Schneider, but it’s telling that, despite all of these tough recent times, Schneider’s career save percentage is still stellar at .919. The 33-year-old hasn’t been that goalie since 2015-16, but if he could even become a decent 1A/1B goalie, that could give the Devils a considerable boost.

He’ll need to shake off moments like these, though.

Update: That ended up being the only goal Schneider allowed, as he stopped 45 shots in New Jersey’s 3-1 win against Buffalo.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Feel better, Patrik Stefan: Tyler Seguin whiffed on empty-netter, too

Tyler Seguin joined “The Patrik Stefan Club” on Thursday.

This imaginary group doesn’t hand out a (sad) jacket as if it was honoring the winner of the Masters Tournament, but if they did, credit Seguin for wearing it well. Much like Stefan, Seguin failed on an empty-net goal attempt in a deeply comical way.

Of course, Seguin could laugh it off because a) no reasonable person would refer to it as “career-defining” like many do with Stefan and b) it didn’t result in the other team scoring a tying goal right after the botched ENG attempt, as it infamously happened with Stefan.

After the Stars’ 4-1 win against the Minnesota Wild on Thursday – a fairly big win that included an Alexander Radulov ENG, by the way – Seguin had some fun at his own expense.

(There was also this “Finding Nemo” reference that’s apparently amusing and fitting enough that Jamie Benn tweeted the same thing.)

Here’s the Stefan debacle to jog your memory, and cement the notion that it really can’t be topped.

Heading into Thursday, Stefan and Seguin had some things in common. They both have played for the Dallas Stars. They both were high picks, with Stefan going first (ouch) in 1999, while Seguin was selected second overall in 2010. But now they can truly exchange knowing looks, as they’ve whiffed badly on what would seem like “gimme” opportunities.

In the case of Seguin making this mistake, it’s a rare moment when he seems like the rest of us: capable of making a forehead-slapper in an athletic event. He won’t do that often, particularly when there isn’t a goalie in the opposing net.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Video: Derek Morris beats Jonathan Quick from center ice

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In the grand scheme of things, Los Angles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick is a star and perhaps the future of Team USA goaltending. Even the best netminders look silly sometimes, though, and that was the case when a dominant first period for the Kings was largely washed away when Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Derek Morris beat Quick from center ice:

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Ouch.  Something tells me that clip won’t be part of Quick’s Vezina Trophy nominee video highlight package.

You might say that Quick joins Chris Osgood, Tommy Salo, Dan Cloutier and other netminders known for allowing goals from far out, but he already did last year. St. Louis Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo scored a similar goal against Quick on March 17, 2011.

Hey, at least it humanizes a goalie who can sometimes look superhuman, right?

Capitals win despite strange goal, big deficit

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You’ve heard the cliche before: “hockey is a game of bounces.” Rarely is that statement revealed as the honest-truth quite like this wacky goal allowed by Michal Neuvirth.

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John Tavares ended up getting a gimme stat on that one, but he “earned” another tally and assist to show that it wasn’t just a night of flukes. (Tavares also found the net in the skills competition, by the way.)

That wacky goal seemed like it would tell the story of a disastrous missed opportunity once the score was 3-0 and 4-1, but give credit to the Washington Capitals, who redeemed their goalie by earning a 5-4 shootout comeback win.

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That triumph gave the Capitals four wins in a row and a temporary hold on the top spot in the Southeast Division – along with the third seed that would come with it. The Florida Panthers jumped right back into first place in the division with a 5-2 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs, but either way, things certainly look better for Washington now than they did when they were down 3-0 and 4-1.

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Perhaps this is the type of win Washington can build something special upon, but Neuvirth will likely just be happy to be able to laugh – a bit – at that bizarre goal.

Video: A new entry for the national anthem blooper reels

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Buffalo’s proximity to Canada is a big reason why the Sabres have experienced a nice little renaissance at the box office. That large population of fans from just a stone’s throw north of the border explains why both anthems were sung during a Carolina Hurricanes-Buffalo Sabres game, but it came back to haunt the Sabres’ anthem singer tonight.

As you can see from this video, “O Canada” produced an “uh oh” moment:

(Gotta love the shot of Eric Staal giggling.)

There have been far more egregious lyrical mistakes and a treasure trove of off-key disasters, though, as you can see from this fantastic compilation:

As someone with zero vocal ability, my only bit of advice? When in doubt, hum your way through a few of the tougher lines …

(H/T to Kukla’s Korner.)