Detroit Red Wings v New York Rangers

Michael Del Zotto will miss 4-6 weeks with fractured finger

While then-rookie Tyler Myers was last season’s biggest surprise among first-year defenseman, offensive blueliner Michael Del Zotto wasn’t far behind. Although his -20 rating in 2009-10 indicated that he had a lot to learn, he still produced an impressive nine-goal, 28-assist season for the New York Rangers.

Call it a sophomore slump or just reality setting in after a dream season, but this season hasn’t been nearly as promising for the high-risk, high-reward defenseman. After playing in all but two of the team’s games last year, Del Zotto only appeared in 47 games with the big club, as injuries and two demotions to the AHL indicated that he has some serious room for improvement.

Things are going to get a little tougher for Del Zotto, as Steve Zipay reports that he will be sidelined for four to six weeks after fracturing a finger during a game with the AHL’s Connecticut Whale.

It seems like his confidence might be shaken after a rough season, so perhaps the time off will give him time to get his mind right. Giving up on him now would be pretty silly, considering how young he is (20 years old) and his considerable offensive upside.

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…