As we previously mentioned, with his early power-play goal in Washington’s 2-1 victory over the New York Rangers, Alex Ovechkin now has 30 goals in just 50 playoff games. That’s pretty impressive, but it looks even better when you give it some context.
The last player to score 30 goals in his first 50 postseason contests was Joe Sakic, who did it in 1997. The scary thing is that Ovechkin might have reached the 30-goal mark even quicker if his playing time hadn’t been slashed – at least compared to previous postseason runs – and the Capitals didn’t change their playing style. He had 25 goals in 37 playoff contests coming into 2011-12.
“It’s not about me; it’s all about everybody,” Ovechkin said. “We wanna play good in playoff game. Of course I’m gonna do my best and everybody gonna do their best. You can see how we start hockey game where we put puck deep and finish our checks and move our legs, get penalty and score goal.”
For now, it’s not a stretch to assume that Ovechkin is primarily thinking about Game 7, which will be played at 7:30pm ET on Saturday.
Ovechkin has never played in the Conference Finals before. The last time he came this close was in 2009 when the Capitals lost in Game 7 to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round. Washington has changed a lot since then. We’ll see if the results are different too.
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…