After scoring six goals in three games (including four against Dallas on Saturday), New York Islanders LW Matt Moulson was named the NHL’s first star of the week.
The four-goal outburst against Dallas was the defining moment of Moulson’s week, cementing him in Islander lore. He became just the third Islander to score four in a game since 1992-93 (joining the immortal Alexei Yashin and Viktor Kozlov) and is now the NHL’s 12th-leading goalscorer since the 2009-10 season. Yes, seriously. No, I’m not making it up. Over the last two seasons, Moulson has put more pucks in the net than Rick Nash, Dany Heatley, Jonathan Toews, Jeff Carter and Thomas Vanek. Check for yourself.
Second star of the week went to Ryan O’Reilly. (Not the character portrayed by Dean Winters in the HBO prison series “Oz”, in case you were wondering.) The Colorado center notched seven points last week (4G, 3A), recorded three multi-point games and finished with a plus-6 rating as the Avs went 3-0-1. As such, the 20-year-old now leads Colorado in scoring with 21 points in 27 games.
Third star went to LA Kings goalie Jonathan Quick. This marks the second weekly honor Quick’s received — he was named the NHL’s first star back on Oct. 24 — and the second time he’s posted a ridiculously-low GAA. Quick’s goals-against average was 0.50 last week; he also won both his starts and posted a .987 save percentage. Quick now leads the NHL in shutouts (four), ranks second in save percentage and fourth in GAA.
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…