Bernie Nicholls

Bernie Nicholls on pre-Sutter Kings: “they were terrible to watch”

Bernie Nicholls scored 475 goals in 1,127 regular-season NHL games. Most of those goals came with the Los Angeles Kings, including a 70-goal season in 1988-89 on a team that not-so-coincidentally featured Wayne Gretzky.

These days, Nicholls is trying to help the current Kings fill the net. The 50-year-old has been brought in as a “casual” consultant by new coach Darryl Sutter.

The Pumper Nicholler pulled no punches in assessing L.A.’s offense under former coach Terry Murray.

“…for a skilled team, it’s sad to say but they were terrible to watch,” said Nicholls, as per the Los Angeles Times.  “They may get 15 shots in a game and you’re going, ‘Wow.’ They’ve got too much skill and too much offense to do that.”

The Kings still rank dead last in offense, averaging 2.1 goals per game. However, they’ve managed four goals in two of their last five games. So…progress?

In Jets return, Burmistrov delivers headshot to Bergeron (Updated)

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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…

Two-for-two: Another successful coach’s challenge as Sens reverse Kane’s goal

Dave Cameron
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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.