Jonathan Toews

Toews: “It doesn’t feel like we’re down 3-1”


The Chicago Blackhawks and Phoenix Coyotes have given us a lot in the first four games of their series. In fact, they tied an NHL record by sending their first four game to overtime, becoming the only teams to do that other than the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens way back in 1951. Yet for all that, the Blackhawks must feel a little stunned to be down 3-1 in the series thanks to tonight’s 3-2 overtime loss.

Toews has been a surprisingly robust source of frank quotes lately, and he nailed the mood when he spoke with Chris Kuc.

“It doesn’t feel like we’re down 3-1,” Toews said. “Every game has been close. Tonight, especially, it’s a little disappointing.”

The Blackhawks have shown that they can fight back from a big deficit to at least make a series out of things before. As you probably remember, the Vancouver Canucks had them down 3-0 last season only to need a dramatic Alexander Burrows overtime-winner to squeak by Chicago in Game 7 of last year’s first round.

Of course, the bottom line is that the Blackhawks still lost that series – close or not.

In a way, Mikkel Boedker’s game-winner might be symbolic of this first round skirmish. The Blackhawks nearly scored on the other end only to see Boedker break in and just barely beat Corey Crawford.

We’ll see if that moment ends up telling the story or if Chicago can turn things around and make things awfully interesting once again.

Video: Flyers, Bolts confirm 3-on-3 OT is pretty much the greatest thing ever

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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.

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


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…