Ales Hemsky set to make another return to Edmonton Oilers’ lineup

Ales Hemsky has been in and out of the Edmonton Oilers’ lineup often enough that I’m strongly considering setting some kind of “Mad Libs” style template to cover injury updates on the would-be star passer.

TSN reports that Hemsky is on his way back into the lineup. He’s missed 17 games so far this season with a variety of ailments from a groin injury to his recent concussion.

But the fact of the matter is that he’s worthy of the attention, even if the Oilers are out of playoff contention at this point. He’s been nearly a point per game player when he managed to play so far this season, netting nine goals and 20 assist for 29 points in 32 games.

His latest setback was concussion-related, though, so hopefully the Oilers aren’t rushing the oft-injured winger back. Considering how much trouble the Boston Bruins are dealing with after Marc Savard’s (perhaps hasty) return from a head injury, Edmonton should err on the side of safety. Especially when you consider the fact that the team is only fighting for pride/good mojo/etc. at this moment in time.

Video: Flyers, Bolts confirm 3-on-3 OT is pretty much the greatest thing ever

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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.

In Jets return, Burmistrov delivers headshot to Bergeron (Updated)


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…