One of the Vancouver Canucks’ biggest necessities heading further into the stretch drive and the post-season is a proven NHL center.
While general manager Mike Gillis could acquire one through a trade, the Canucks have received good news with respect to the injured Ryan Kesler.
Ben Kuzma of The Province reported that a CT scan Monday revealed a hairline fracture in his right foot was fully healed.
Dan Murphy of Sportsnet reported on Twitter Monday evening that Kesler “could be back in a week.”
Kesler has played in just seven games for Vancouver this season. He missed almost a full month of the truncated regular season after having wrist and shoulder surgeries during last year’s off-season.
In seven games, the 2011 Selke Trophy winner had one goal and five assists.
Kesler suffered the injury blocking a shot on Feb. 15 against the Dallas Stars, which happened to be his first game back from his off-season operations and rehab.
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…