Anaheim goalie Jonas Hiller will make his first appearance in 10 days on Monday when he gets the start against Columbus at the Honda Center.
Hiller, 31, hasn’t played since getting hurt in the first period of a Feb. 8 game against the Dallas Stars. While shelved, he’s watched Viktor Fasth emerge as a serious contender for the club’s No. 1 goaltending gig.
Fasth won four straight starts during Hiller’s absence and, on Monday, was named the NHL’s second star of the week. The 30-year-old Swede is now 8-0-0 on the year, one win shy of Ray Emery’s record for wins to start a career (Emery won nine straight with Ottawa from Mar. 2003 to Nov. 2005.)
It’ll be curious to see how Hiller reacts to Fasth’s emergence. The Swiss netminder hasn’t played especially well this year — 3-2-1, 3.69 GAA, .872 save percentage — and is coming off a year where he was Anaheim’s undisputed (and busy) No. 1 netminder.
In 2011-12, Hiller played in a career-high 73 games and led all NHL goalies in appearances (73), minutes played (4,253) and losses (30).
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…