For a team that battled through three seven-game series in the four rounds of the 2011 playoffs, the Boston Bruins were a relatively healthy bunch after they hoisted the Stanley Cup. Sure, there were definitely moments here and there – Patrice Bergeron fought through another concussion, for one thing – but they seemed spry compared to their banged-up opponents in Vancouver.
That healthy, mostly intact roster justifies arguments that they might be primed for a strong title defense in 2011-12, but a huge amount of their success hinges on Zdeno Chara. The dominant blueliner plays minutes that are almost in proportion to his gargantuan stature, so seeing him leave the ice early is a cause for concern.
That’s exactly what happened today, as Chara suffered a leg contusion during a Bruins scrimmage after a shot hit the inside of his left leg.
“Right now it’s a contusion and we’ll evaluate as we go along here,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “This is training camp and if he needs an extra day here, we’ll give him an extra day. If not, then he’ll be back on the ice tomorrow.”
If Julien’s comment is any indication, it might not be a serious injury. We’ll keep an eye out for updates about his status either way, though.
Coaches are quickly getting the hang of this challenge thing.
Following Mike Babcock’s successful challenge in Toronto’s opening-night loss to Montreal on Wednesday, Babcock’s provincial rival — Sens head coach Dave Cameron — got it right as well, successfully reversing Evander Kane‘s would-be equalizer in the third period.
From the league:
At 10:34 of the third period in the Senators/Sabres game, Ottawa requested a Coach’s Challenge to review whether Buffalo was off-side prior to Evander Kane’s goal.
After reviewing all available replays and consulting with NHL Hockey Operations staff, the Linesman determined that Buffalo’s Zemgus Girgensons was off-side prior to the goal. According to Rule 78.7, “The standard for overturning the call in the event of a ‘GOAL’ call on the ice is that the Linesman, after reviewing any and all available replays and consulting with the Toronto Video Room, determines that one or more Players on the attacking team preceded the puck into the attacking zone prior to the goal being scored and that, as a result, the play should have been stopped for an “Off-side” infraction; where this standard is met, the goal will be disallowed.”
Therefore the original call is overturned – no goal Buffalo Sabres.
The clock is re-set to show 9:32 (10:28 elapsed time), when the off-side infraction occurred.
As the league later noted, this was the first coach’s challenge under the offside scenario.
Didn’t take long for Jack Eichel to make his mark at the NHL level.
The No. 2 overall pick at this year’s draft scored his first-ever NHL goal in his first-ever NHL game on Thursday night, cutting Ottawa’s lead to 2-1 in the third period of Buffalo’s season-opener.
Marcus Foligno and another new Sabre, Evander Kane, registered the assists on Eichel’s marker, which came on the power play.