PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Yeah, that’s Michael Handzus with the Stanley Cup back in his home country of Slovakia. It draws a crowd everywhere it goes. (Getty)
Just to help you through the doldrums of summer, here’s your light at the end of the tunnel: There are 50 days left until opening night.
On to the news…
Stars GM Jim Nill calls Sergei Gonchar the “forgotten man” and thinks he’ll spark Dallas’ power play. (Dallas Stars)
The likely new owners of the Devils are being viewed as guys who will build up the current team, not rip it apart. You mean their roster can be decimated further?! (Star-Ledger)
Flames prospect Bill Arnold is catching the eyes of one scout at Boston College. (Calgary Flames)
Senators owner Eugene Melnyk is talking more about the team facing a new financial reality. Gulp. (Senators Extra)
Finally, a sad note to pass along. Arizona Republic writer and Coyotes beat reporter Jim Gintonio passed away last night following a battle with cancer.
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…