Chicago is up against it in a bad way tonight. The defending champs are down 3-0 in their first round series against the West’s top seeded Vancouver Canucks and while the Blackhawks have had their opportunities, the Canucks have just been better at everything all series long.
Tonight the Blackhawks get Dave Bolland back into the lineup while they’ll be without Brent Seabrook on defense. That means John Scott will likely go from a poor distraction in front of Roberto Luongo and go back to being on the blue line and try to keep the peace around Corey Crawford. If the Blackhawks are going to suck up some pride tonight they’ll have to be a lot better at just about everything.
Hockey Central’s Keith Jones and Jeremy Roenick break down what they think needs to happen. Don’t worry about J.R. though, we think he can cope having the Hawks on the brink.
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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.
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…