We’re eagerly anticipating the start of the 2013-14 campaign and to tie into that, NBCSN is launching two new programs.
Many of you will remember that every Wednesday last season was Rivalry Night on NBCSN and that will be back with a match against the Buffalo Sabres and Detroit Red Wings on Oct. 2. However, this season NBCSN is taking that a step forward.
On Tuesday Oct. 9 at 10:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN will debut a new weekly program called NHL Rivals, which goes into the history of the following night’s rivalry match. The first episode will look at the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues before you see them compete at 8:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday Oct. 10. If you miss NHL Rivals on Tuesdays, there will be an encore presentation of it at 6:30 p.m. ET on Wednesdays.
Following NHL Rivals, will be NHL Top 10 at 11:00 p.m. ET. As the name implies, it will be a countdown show with the goal of analyzing some of the greatest hockey debates. The topics will be varied and include things like the top Olympic moments and greatest goal scorers.
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…