Eakins: Kassian high stick ‘a disturbing play by a disturbing player’


The Oilers are none too pleased with the Canucks.

On Monday, both Edmonton players and coaches voiced displeasure with events from Saturday night’s 5-2 win, during which Vancouver’s Zack Kassian broke Sam Gagner’s jaw with a high stick and Dale Weise threw an elbow at Taylor Hall.

First up, Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins.

“A disturbing play by a disturbing player,” Eakins said of Kassian’s high stick, as per Sportsnet’s Mark Spector.

Both Kassian and Weise are facing supplemental discipline for their actions, with Kassian likely to get a stiffer sentence thanks to an in-person hearing request, which he declined to attend. Kassian did, however, have the hearing over the phone this morning.

But back to the Oilers for a sec.

Echoing his coach Eakins’ sentiments — to a certain degree — was noted tough guy Ben Eager.

“We play [the Canucks] a lot down the stretch,” Eager explained. “We’re going to go after their skill players also.”

While a good effort by Eager, he might want to re-check the calendar. The Canucks and Oilers play four times between Oct. 3-Jan. 27, then just once more over the final three months of the regular season.

That said, he does have a history with going after Vancouver’s skill guys:

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…