With the Senators devastated by long-term injuries to stars Erik Karlsson and Jason Spezza, attention has naturally turned to the future of captain Daniel Alfredsson. Specifically, if Ottawa isn’t in a playoff position by the April 3 trade deadline, would the 40-year-old be interested in seeking a Stanley Cup title elsewhere?
“As of now, no but never say never,” Alfredsson said this morning ahead of tonight’s home game against the Rangers, per the Ottawa Citizen’s Wayne Scanlan.
For now, Alfredsson’s focus is on trying to make the playoffs with the Sens (9-6-2). And if the postseason started today, his mission would be complete. But with two-thirds of the season to go, staying in the top eight of the Eastern Conference will be tough.
Alfredsson has four goals and six assists in 16 games. Trade speculation has linked him to Boston and Pittsburgh.
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…