Nathan Horton, Milan Lucic

Report: Nathan Horton received fine from NHL for water bottle throwing incident

For many Tampa Bay Lightning fans, it almost seemed cruel. Despite previous precedent of John Tortorella – their former Stanley Cup-winning coach, by the way – receiving a one-game suspension for a fairly similar incident, Boston Bruins forward Nathan Horton didn’t receive supplemental discipline for his water bottle-throwing transgression.

Well, at least it seemed that way.

Joe Haggerty reports that the NHL fined Horton for throwing a water bottle at Lightning fans following Boston’s loss in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals. The total amount of the fine has not been disclosed, however.

That’s probably small solace for Lightning fans who called for his suspension, especially since Horton ended up scoring Game 7’s only goal. For better or worse, the league did acknowledge that moment, though.

Of course, this controversy obscures the real evil in this story: noisemakers handed out at events. I dream of a sporting society without “rally drums,” Thunderstix, vuvuzelas and another sonic sporting scourges. Sadly, it seems like these trends are only building steam rather than running on empty. If you’re like me, you shudder to think about the obnoxious, noisy future of sports.

I guess that’s why high-definition televisions exist though, right?

Kane scores OT-winner, caps Islanders’ bumpy start in Brooklyn

Patrick Kane

On paper, it’s the perfect way to kick off meaningful hockey in Brooklyn, as the New York Islanders faced the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.

In reality, there were some highs and lows, culminating with Patrick Kane scoring a power-play overtime-winner to give Chicago a 3-2 (OT) win.

The Barclays Center crowd was going to be a big part of the story one way or another, but even by building-opening standards, the audience made some waves.

Indeed, Kane was greeted with some jeers during his first road appearance of the 2015-16 season, though he didn’t sound surprised.

(There were other controversial chants, apparently.)

Speaking of the crowd, it may not have been the greatest turnout:

ESPN goes way, way in depth on how the change of locale was received, by the way.

It wasn’t a perfect night inside the rink, either, as there weren’t exactly rave reviews about ice quality. New York Newsday’s Arthur Staple compared the ice to a “slushy” and “soup,” with an anonymous Islander (or Islanders) describing the conditions as “awful.”

Kane was pretty diplomatic about it, for what it’s worth.


So, no, it was not a perfect night for the Islanders.

They probably envisioned a teeming, perfectly mannered crowd. Management likely expected Jaroslav Halak to be in net, too.

Sometimes breaking ground is often about overcoming those early stumbles, though, and maybe the best review is to parallel the on-ice results: the Isles at least got a point out of it.

Let’s not forget that there are some cool perks that come with this situation, even if the specifics may vary.

If you want even more information/photos/etc., you’d probably do well to check out #IslesOpeningNight.

Columbus collapse: Rangers spoil Blue Jackets’ opener

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For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.

The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.

They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.

It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.

Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)

Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.