Perhaps it’s because they were due.
After being shutout in back-to-back games against the Vancouver Canucks and Detroit Red Wings, the Nashville Predators erupted for five goals in a 5-4 overtime win over the visiting Dallas Stars Monday.
Did we mention the Predators came into the game with the worst goals-for per game average in the entire National Hockey League? With their scoring outburst against the Stars, Nashville suddenly shot up two spots into 28th – ahead of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Minnesota Wild. Next in the Predators’ sights is Edmonton.
And it was a defenseman – not Shea Weber – who led the way. Roman Josi, who had three points coming into the game, scored twice and added a pair of helpers. He’s up to seven points, just like that.
“The last couple of games, he’s played with a lot of jump,” Predators head coach Barry Trotz told NHL.com of Josi.
“I think he’s finding himself as a player in this League. He’s very comfortable and he’s playing in all situations and he’s becoming a very important part of our team.”
Meanwhile, the Stars continue to hover around the Western Conference post-season cutoff line. They sit seventh in the conference, with seven teams separated by only three points behind them.
In an online chat Monday, Dallas Morning News columnist Tim Cowlishaw took questions about the Stars. He replied to one inquiry about a new coach perhaps turning the fortunes of the team by starting: “It may take a new coach…,” before giving just a little bit of leeway.
Worth pointing out that Stars head coach Glen Gulutzan is a sophomore in the NHL.
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…
Coaches are quickly getting the hang of this challenge thing.
Following Mike Babcock’s successful challenge in Toronto’s opening-night loss to Montreal on Wednesday, Babcock’s provincial rival — Sens head coach Dave Cameron — got it right as well, successfully reversing Evander Kane‘s would-be equalizer in the third period.
From the league:
At 10:34 of the third period in the Senators/Sabres game, Ottawa requested a Coach’s Challenge to review whether Buffalo was off-side prior to Evander Kane’s goal.
After reviewing all available replays and consulting with NHL Hockey Operations staff, the Linesman determined that Buffalo’s Zemgus Girgensons was off-side prior to the goal. According to Rule 78.7, “The standard for overturning the call in the event of a ‘GOAL’ call on the ice is that the Linesman, after reviewing any and all available replays and consulting with the Toronto Video Room, determines that one or more Players on the attacking team preceded the puck into the attacking zone prior to the goal being scored and that, as a result, the play should have been stopped for an “Off-side” infraction; where this standard is met, the goal will be disallowed.”
Therefore the original call is overturned – no goal Buffalo Sabres.
The clock is re-set to show 9:32 (10:28 elapsed time), when the off-side infraction occurred.
As the league later noted, this was the first coach’s challenge under the offside scenario.