Eichel entered Thursday having scored at least a point in 17 consecutive games, one shy of the Sabres’ record. But according to NHL rules, such streaks are marked by the particular team’s games, not the players. So by missing Thursday’s game, Eichel ended his streak.
This, to put it mildly, is lunacy. Under Major League Baseball’s rules, Joe DiMaggio didn’t have to play in 56 consecutive games to compile his hitting streak. He just had to get a hit in the 56 straight games in which he played. Such individual achievements and storylines are what make sports fun and interesting to follow on a daily basis. But then, from its convoluted standings system and playoff alignment to its inconsistency in the enforcement of its own rules and infractions, the NHL is always making things harder on itself.