Earlier this month, Flyers forward Danny Briere set off a mini-firestorm when he said that goalie Ilya Bryzgalov had “actually been a great teammate” of late – the inference being Bryzgalov hadn’t always been a great teammate.
Briere also said that before “everything was about Bryz. When he played well, when he played bad, everything was about Bryz.”
Later Briere said he was only trying to pump Brygalov’s tires, not throw him under the bus for past transgressions.
However, it’s telling that Bryzgalov was extremely quick to credit his teammates last night after setting a club record for longest shutout streak.
In fact, he almost went overboard recognizing everyone around him.
“I think it’s not for me,” he said. “I think it’s a great team accomplishment. I know I was not alone on the ice. It is a team thing. And I think the whole team deserves it. I just want to say congratulations to the organization and all players who played these games.”
Here’s the video of Bryzgalov’s scrum, courtesy CSNPhilly.com. (Not shown: Bryzgalov acknowledging the team’s trainer for doing such a bang-up job sharpening skates. Can’t set a shutout record without sharp skates.)
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…