In what amounted to an already insane first period between the New York Rangers and the New York Islanders, something magical happened. A pair of events that had virtually no chance of happening together, somehow did.
Alain Vigneault has never been fond of his timeouts. In fact, he's been criticized many times by the media for his refusal to use timeouts during the game. In a loss to the Washington Capitals earlier in the year, Vigneault elected not to use a timeout during a late icing, where Washington promptly scored on the exhausted group on the ice and won the game in overtime.
Per Corsica, the New York Rangers have utilized their timeout 85 times since 2013-2014 (when Vigneault became the head coach of the Rangers). As you can see below, those timeouts don't include challenge-based TO losses.
@BlueshirtBanter 85 non-challenge timeouts since 2013-2014.— Corsica (@CorsicaHockey) March 7, 2016
This stat includes the playoffs, so between the start of the 2013-2014 season and Sunday's loss to the Islanders we're talking about a total of 274 games -- which means the Rangers have used their timeout just 31% of the time.
In the first period against the Islanders, Vigneault used a timeout to calm the Rangers down. This was the first half of what will forever be known as "the golden prophecy."
The Tanner Glass Goal:
Glass' role on this team has floated somewhere between 4th line furniture, enforcer and "great in the room guy." Glass has never been known for his offensive abilities, and as such has only scored 22 goals in the 485 NHL games he's taken part in.
That means that Glass has scored a goal in just 4.5% of his games as an NHLer. And yet he scored a goal in the first period against the Islanders after Vigneault's timeout -- fulfilling the second half of the golden prophecy.
The probability of these two events happening in the same game:
Based on my quick Google search of how to figure out the probability of two independent events happening, I learned that the formula involves simply boiling both events down to a percentage and then multiplying those two percentages together. So this event looks as follows:
0.045 (Glass goal) X 0.31 (AV using a timeout)
This means there was a 1.39% chance of these two events happening in the same game.
The probability of the two events happening in the same period:
Since there's three periods in the a hockey game there's a 33% chance of something happening in a given period. Using the above formula we can work out the probability of these two events happening in the same period:
1.39 (the percent chance of a Glass goal and AV TO in the same game) X 0.33 (the percent chance of a single period of hockey)
This means there was a 0.46% chance of the two events happening in the same period.
To put that in perspective: If you played an NHL game 5,000 times these two events would occur together in the same period in only 23 games.
Think about that for a moment.
5,000 NHL games would equal 60.9 seasons. 60.9 seasons equals nearly 70 years. Which means if you watched a lifetime of hockey you would see those two events occur just 23 times. And because both AV and Glass have fixed shelf lives, the probability of seeing those two events happen are even more rare.
Think about it: What you saw on Sunday you will likely never, ever, ever see happen again.