Chicago Blackhawks v Nashville Predators

Hawks balance workload, will start Emery Sunday

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford was solid in a 5-2 win against the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday. He’s looking to bounce back after a rough sophomore campaign, but with the condensed schedule Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville will be relying heavily on backup netminder Ray Emery as well.

To that end, Emery will get the nod on Sunday against the Phoenix Coyotes, according to CSN Chicago.

“With the back-to-back games, with six games in nine days, we want to get Ray in a game, get him part of the team right off the bat and get a game under his belt as well,” Quenneville said. “He played well for us when he played for us last year, as well.”

This could be a recurring theme all season as teams look to avoid wearing out their goaltenders. Even still, Quenneville will also ride the hot hand when he thinks its appropriate.

“The way they play dictates how often they play,” Quenneville said. “A lot of decisions come into if they’re playing well and if we need to monitor their rest.”

Like Crawford, Emery is looking to improve after a rough 2011-12 campaign. Emery had a 2.81 GAA and .900 save percentage in 34 games last season.

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


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…