It was a good news/bad news day for both 2013 first-round picks of the Buffalo Sabres.
First up, the good news. Eighth overall pick, defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen, has made the team. After an impressive training camp, he made the cut as Bill Hoppe of the Olean Times Herald shares.
At 6’3″ 207 pounds, he’s been a physical player and a smart one through camp for Buffalo. It also marks the second year in a row the team’s top pick has made the team out of camp (Mikhail Grigorenko did last year).
The bad news centers around 16th overall pick Nikita Zadorov. He injured his finger blocking a shot on Friday night and will miss two weeks of action as Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News shares. Coach Ron Rolston says his finger was “smashed” at the tip. Gross.
Rolston says his injury status won’t dictate if he makes the team. More from Hoppe:
“Will we keep him?” Rolston asked. “We’ll have to discuss that. It’s two weeks. We could have him here and he could be working out and be on the ice because it’s not anything lower body.”
Buffalo is poised to be one of the youngest teams in the league. Keeping a pair of first-round picks from this year’s draft and last year’s (Grigorenko and Zemgus Girgensons) would make them a very green team.
It wasn’t pretty, and they might have lost key defenseman Matt Niskanen to injury, but at least the Washington Capitals managed a win against the Boston Bruins.
For a while, it was looking pretty ugly.
After going up 3-0, the Capitals went more than a period’s worth of time without even managing a shot on goal. Whether you lean more toward giving the Bruins credit for fighting back or beating up the Capitals for “sitting on a lead,” it’s staggering that such a dangerous offense could be held in check for so long.
Luckily for Washington, Nicklas Backstrom salvaged the night with an overtime goal to give the Capitals a 4-3 overtime win.
Both teams have had a knack for extending games beyond regulation lately, by the way:
Capitals over the last three games:
Shootout loss to the Lightning
Overtime win against the Sabres
Overtime win tonight against the Bruins
Bruins over the last five games:
Shootout loss against Flyers
Shootout win against Hurricanes
Regulation win against Sabres
Overtime win against Panthers
Overtime loss to the Capitals
Maybe that’s what gets it done in 2016-17: finding ways to carve out wins and shake out rough patches, like the Caps did tonight.
Patrice Bergeron doesn’t have a reputation for dirty hits, but he drew the Washington Capitals’ ire for a hit on Matt Niskanen.
The Capitals consider Niskanen “probable” to return to Wednesday’s game against the Boston Bruins with what they’re calling an upper-body injury. Bergeron received a two-minute boarding penalty for the infraction.
(Check out video of the hit above.)
The Capitals’ Twitter acknowledged the brewing bad feelings.
Does Bergeron deserve supplemental discipline for that boarding hit?
Washington currently leads the game 3-2.
There are plenty of hazards on an NHL rink even if you’re not a player.
Barry Trotz ranks among the coaches who’ve been hit by pucks, though he’s one of the tiny sliver of humans who would shake off a puck to the forehead. It can be dangerous for officials, too, whether it means a wayward puck or wayward player.
The latest example comes in the form of linesman Steve Miller needing help off the ice after a puck hit him in the knee area. As you can see from the video, it looked like he was in serious pain.
It’s refreshing that hockey fans have, for the most part, moved on from debating Tyler Bozak‘s merits.
The general feeling is that the Toronto Maple Leafs use him in appropriate ways these days, so we can simply enjoy his work as a pretty spiffy hockey player.
Speaking of spiffy, check out the sweet moves he made against the Minnesota Wild for the goal above. Feels like you could dub over a Chris Berman “whoop” or two in there, right?
(If you’re into that kind of thing.)
Here’s that gaudy move in isolation and in GIF form: