The Tampa Bay Lightning stocked some organizational depth on Wednesday, re-upping with goalie Cedrick Desjardins and defenseman Matt Taormina on one-year, two-way deals.
Desjardins, 27, was acquired from Montreal early in the 2013 season in exchange for Dustin Tokarski. He proceeded to appear in three games for Tampa, going 0-3-0 with a 3.00 GAA and .890 save percentage.
He seems destined to play in AHL Syracuse this year, especially with Tampa’s 1-2 goalie combo of Ben Bishop and Anders Lindback.
Taormina, 26, was signed last summer as an unrestricted free agent and appeared in just two games for the Bolts in 2013, going scoreless.
The former Providence College standout posted career highs in games (30) and points (seven) with New Jersey in 2011-12.
Taormina has an outside shot of cracking Tampa’s blueline next year, though the club does already have seven NHL defensemen under contract.
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…