Maxim Lapierre has always been considered a nuisance on the ice by opponents. Of late he’s been a bit of a pain in the rear to the Montreal Canadiens in asking for more playing time. With no extra minutes to go around to the pesky forward, he wanted out of Montreal via trade. Today, his wish was granted as the Canadiens traded him to Anaheim for defenseman Brett Festerling and a fifth round pick.
Lapierre gives the Ducks a checking forward with an edge to his game and a means to get under the skin of virtually every opponent he faces. In other words, he’s the ideal kind of player to land in Anaheim. Festerling gives the Habs a depth defenseman and someone else for coach Jacques Martin to cycle in and out of the lineup with Yanick Weber and P.K. Subban if he’s feeling daring to incite problems with the Habs fan base.
Lapierre’s penchant for exaggerating hits and committing questionably dirty hits has earned him a reputation around the league, one that’s surely only going to be exasperated playing in Anaheim. Lapierre helps shore up the Ducks down the middle as they’re without Ryan Getzlaf thanks to his broken nasal cavity. The Ducks were already thin at center but Lapierre will give them another guy to win faceoffs. No, Lapierre won’t help out offensively but he will be a great addition to an energy/agitation line.
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…