The banged-up Los Angeles blueline got some good news on Monday as Alec Martinez was told he’d be playing against Nashville, his first game since suffering an upper-body injury on Feb. 11.
Martinez, 25, is set to replace Davis Drewiske on the Kings’ blueline and, in doing so, will become the first of LA’s three injured regulars to return to action.
Fellow banged-up blueliners Willie Mitchell and Matt Greene remain sidelined with knee and back ailments, respectively.
Martinez had been playing a vital role for the Kings prior to getting hurt, averaging nearly 19 minutes per game (a career-high) and had 1G-1A-2PTS through 11 games.
It’s been a tough campaign for Martinez injury-wise.
During the lockout, he suffered a scary injury after taking a puck to the face while playing for TPS Turku of Finland’s SM-liiga. The puck fractured his cheekbone, an injury that required surgery and a month on the shelf.
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.