Wings’ Abdelkader laments ‘unfortunate’ hit


On Monday, Detroit forward Justin Abdelkader discussed the hit that earned him a two-game suspension and knocked Ducks defenseman Toni Lydman out of the lineup.

“I want to reiterate that on Saturday there was no intent to injure,” Abdelkader told the Macomb Daily. “I don’t mean to injure anyone, put anyone at harm.

“I have respect for every one of the players in this hockey league. It’s a privilege that we get to play in the NHL.”

The hit occurred late in the second period of Saturday’s 4-0 loss, with Abdelkader getting a five-minute charging major and game misconduct:

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Abdelkader was subsequently suspended two games by NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan, who called the hit “violent,” adding the Detroit winger “made significant head contact” with Lydman.

The 26-year-old said the speed and physicality of his game played a role in what transpired.

“I play a hard game, I play physical. I’m going to still play my physical game, get in on the forecheck, finish checks, but I’ve got to be smart about it,” he explained. “The speed of the game, it happens so fast.

“It’s unfortunate what happened.”

Video: Flyers, Bolts confirm 3-on-3 OT is pretty much the greatest thing ever

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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.

In Jets return, Burmistrov delivers headshot to Bergeron (Updated)


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…