The Hallmark Channel will release 42 Christmas movies this holiday season as it reigns supreme as the premier purveyor of holiday love stories. Though nearly all of those four dozen movies follow a common template, each tends to delve into a specific topic that appeals to specific viewers. For example, the hockey-themed Christmas movie, Checkin It Twice, that debuted on Friday, October 20.
“A journeyman hockey player falls for a real estate agent in a career crisis when he’s traded to her hometown and moves into the cottage in her hockey-loving family’s backyard,” the Hallmark Channel writes explaining the synopsis of the story.
Checkin It Twice is a comforting story of unlikely love in a small town, but it’s also unafraid to tackle hockey’s most contentious topic: plus-minus.
First, let me set the scene (we watched it – and you should, too!). Ashley (played by Kim Matula) is at an Idaho Falls Fighting Trout game with her family to retrieve her lost debit card. Earlier in the day, a cashier at an airport gift shop mixed Ashley’s card up another person’s, Scott (Kevin McGarry), who is a hockey player in the East Coast Hockey League. To get it back, Ashley meets the handsome athlete afterward.
The discussion goes like this:
Ashley: Well, what did you think of your first game as a Fighting Trout?
Scott: Well, besides the jet lag and learning that I have to volunteer for an entire week of Christmas activities, I’d say I played pretty well.
Ashley: Really? You had six shots on net, scored zero goals, and you had a plus-minus of minus-3. I mean, God, I’m sorry.
Scott: No, it’s fine. I appreciate the honesty. I’m just surprised you cared that much to pay attention.
Ashley: Well, don’t flatter yourself too much. It’s just something I picked up after years of going to games with my dad.
Scott: The plus-minus? I mean, nobody tracks that.
Ashley: Oh, I disagree. It shows how well the team does when you’re in the game – whether you make them better or worse, and for me, that’s the most important stat there is.
Scott: Alright, you know your hockey.
I love, love, love that the female lead is a hockey geek, but scriptwriter Steve Beauregard might have stepped on a landmine here.
While many old-school analysts still cite plus-minus as an important stat, it has fallen out of favor among rigorous hockey nerds. Plus-minus is not quite the same thing as a player’s even-strength on-ice goal differential because it also includes special-teams goofs like shorthanded goals by opponents. It’s heavily affected in small samples by factors that are out of the control of the player – like linemates or a goalie having a bad night. It’s not uncommon for a player to play well and still have a bad plus-minus or vice versa – especially in a single game.
So maybe Scott did have a good game that night, but his linemates were struggling with their coverage. Or maybe Scott’s goalie couldn’t stop a beachball when his line was on the ice. Now I’m thinking Ashley and Scott should go on a date to review the game tape. What was Scott’s corsi? He had six shots on goal. That seems good. Let’s figure out how many of those were high-danger chances, and also what the Fighting Trout’s save percentage was when Scott was on the ice.
Anyways, thank you, Hallmark Channel, for giving us a nerdy hockey movie this holiday season. If you’d like to watch, the next showtimes can be found on Hallmark’s website.
NYC realtor Ashley #KimMatula and hockey pro Scott @kevin_mcgarry are busy chasing their dreams. But will the magic of Christmas help them conjure a new dream with each other? 🪄 Tune in NOW to our new #CountdownToChristmas movie #CheckinItTwice!🎄 pic.twitter.com/MYD9bTKBvu
— Hallmark Channel (@hallmarkchannel) October 21, 2023
RMNB is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.