Some rather surprising news out of Toronto, where Leafs coach Ron Wilson told reporters he expected goalie James Reimer (the guy suffering the concussion-like symptoms without the concussion) to start Sunday in Ottawa.
Toronto GM Brian Burke has attempted to explain Reimer’s symptoms, though the local media remains skeptical.
“It’s not a concussion,” Burke said, as reported by Sportsnet.ca. “He’s being treated for concussion-like symptoms. There’s a rating system they use and he rated very low in all areas as to if it is a concussion or not. We’re not sure if it’s whiplash related.
“It’s not (a concussion) and if it were, we’d say that. It’s not like we’re trying to be evasive here. We are evasive when we need to be; when we don’t want a player to get targeted. To this point the doctors have not told me one time it’s a concussion.”
The Leafs got a clutch performance out of back-up Jonas Gustavsson last night at Madison Square Garden, where Toronto beat the Rangers, 4-2. The Monster will start Saturday at home versus the streaking Penguins.
Gustavsson also backed off comments he made yesterday about Reimer’s absence when he said “you never know with concussions.” Gustavsson now says he misspoke, as he didn’t fully understand Reimer’s condition. No word whether Wilson made Gustavsson sleep outside last night.
In other Leafs news, Phil Kessel left practice early today. Wilson said his star sniper is just “banged up” and expects him to play tomorrow.
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…