Bubble Numbers: Fascinating Stats From The 2020 NHL Playoffs

By Ed Francis on September 30, 2020 at 7:20 am
A Post-Series Tradition
John E. Sokolowski-USA Today Sports

Raise your hand if you predicted the 2019-2020 NHL season lasting 363 days.

(Let the record show no hands in the air.)

But that's how many days the longest season in NHL history lasted, finishing one Stanley Cup game seven away from lasting exactly one year. 

Yet somehow, that's just a footnote when it comes to jaw-dropping stats from the NHL's playoff bubble. 

A total of 1,452 players and league officials were in the bubbles in Toronto and Edmonton, according to figures released by the league. During the two months (and 130 total games) in the secured zone, a total of 33,394 Covid-19 tests were administered; an average of 23 per person.

There were zero positives tests. Any doubts of whether or not the bubble works can be put to sleep. 

On the ice, numbers from the more than 343 hours of hockey played were just as astounding. From the fact that there were no best-of-seven sweeps across the entire Stanley Cup Playoffs for just the second time since 2002, to Pat Maroon of the Tampa Bay Lightning becoming just the 9th player in league history to hoist the Stanley Cup in back-to-back years with different teams. 

The Columbus Blue Jackets made history, too. Joonas Korpisalo picked up the least-deserved loss in NHL history in a five-overtime thriller, making an NHL record 85 saves in a 3-2 loss to the eventual champions. To leave no doubt about it, he beat the record by a dozen saves. 

That first game of the first round saw a total of 90 minute and 27 seconds of overtime hockey, making it the fourth longest game in league history. It also made up nearly 22% of the bubble's 413 minutes (and 42 seconds) of overtime action. 

Hats off and sticks taps to the league on a job well done, to the players for enduring the struggles of being in the bubble, and to Toronto and Edmonton for a fantastic job hosting the weirdest postseason in NHL history. And hey, even the city of Toronto was able to see a conference finals game in their city for the first time since 2002. (Just don't remind them the Maple Leafs weren't involved.)