We told you a bit on Saturday that Lightning captain Vincent Lecavalier would be having surgery on his hand and would miss a few weeks of action. Today, the Lightning reported that Lecavalier’s surgery went well and that he would miss about 4-5 weeks of action. What’s ailing Vinny is a broken knuckle on his right hand. If you think that sounds painful you’d be right. Imagine having to play hockey and try to hang on to your stick while dealing with a broken knuckle. That’s not my idea of a good time.
The injury comes at a tough time for the Lightning. They’re in the midst of a skid that’s seen them lose six of their last seven games with a record of 1-5-1 over that span. The Lightning’s biggest problem during this skid is goal scoring. Over those seven games they’ve scored just 13 goals while allowing 24 goals. The goaltending has been hot and cold, but in their last three games (all losses) they haven’t even been close losing by three or more goals.
This now becomes a stern test for Steven Stamkos to see if he can handle being the absolute main focus of the team’s offense for the next month. Stamkos has done just fine in usurping the lead role at center from Lecavalier, but now he won’t have him as someone else to draw the attention of other team’s top defenders. It’ll be Stamkos, St. Louis or bust in Tampa when it comes to scoring.
Well, the NHL’s two new initiatives for ’15-16 seem to be going swimmingly.
Not long after Ottawa successfully made the second-ever coach’s challenge, fans got their first look at 3-on-3 overtime.
And what a look it was.
In the span of 137 seconds, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Philadelphia Flyers combined for eight shots on goal, a few breakaways, some tremendous saves — including one on a penalty shot — and, finally, Jason Garrison‘s game-winning goal on a breakaway from center, giving the Bolts a 3-2 win.
It was, in a word, fun.
Lots of fun.
A quick sampling of reviews:
Of course, not everybody was a fan:
Now, to temper things a bit — this was the first time we’ve seen 3-on-3 with something on the line, so there was a novelty factor at play. There’s also no guaranteeing future OT sessions will be as exciting as this.
But none of that takes away from the fact 3-on-3 made for appointment viewing, and immense entertainment value. The prospect of future games like this? That’s pretty exciting.
Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.
Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:
Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).
The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.
Update: Bergeron stayed in the game, but B’s head coach Claude Julien was none too pleased with the hit. Following the game, he called for the NHL’s Department of Player Safety to look at it…