It’s been nearly a month since the Ottawa Senators acquired Bobby Ryan from the Anaheim Ducks and one of the first things he had to adjust to is the passion and engagement of the Senators’ fanbase.
He’s already done, by his count, 40-50 interviews since the trade and in a recent media event at Bell Sensplex, reporters and cameramen completely filled a bench for a press conference with Ryan.
“I told somebody up there that the only time we see more than five or six reporters in the room in Anaheim is if we’re playing [Los Angeles] or a Canadian-based team, so this is a much different scale than I have seen before,” Ryan said, according to NHL.com. “I wasn’t quite prepared for it, but that’s why I say it was an eye-opener and it was one of those experiences I won’t ever forget.”
On the ice, he doesn’t expect his role to fundamentally change. Ryan is projected to be paired up with Jason Spezza and take advantage of the center’s playmaking abilities. Even still, he admits that moving away from the Anaheim Ducks organization, which drafted him in 2005, makes him nervous.
“I’ve been through eight training camps with the Ducks and you know what you’re going to get,” Ryan said. “You know what each day will bring, what the physical testing will be like and what is expected of you on the ice. I haven’t seen a whole lot outside of Anaheim in eight years, so this is brand new for me. I think nerves play a big part into it. I’m anxious to get going.”
In the meantime, he’s spending his summer primarily in Idaho, in a place he described as “in the middle of nowhere.” That gives him an opportunity to disconnect, which will starkly contrast what life will be like for him during the 2013-14 campaign.
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…