NHL coaches are finding new, potentially insulting ways to praise their players.
Yesterday, Canucks bench boss John Tortorella called David Booth a “weird dude” — adding “it’s good to have weird dudes” — and that was followed by Edmonton’s Dallas Eakins, who praised Ryan Nugent-Hopkins….for resembling a bobblehead.
“The thing I like about Nuge is that he’s a bobblehead,” Eakins said on Wednesday. “I ask him to do something and he nods his head.
“And not only does he nod his head but he goes out and does it.”
Eakins asked Nugent-Hopkins to do plenty on Tuesday night against New Jersey, the 20-year-old’s season debut after missing the first two games of the year with a shoulder ailment.
Nugent-Hopkins played 28:12 in the 5-4 shootout victory, scoring his first goal of the year (on the PP) while registering six shots on goal.
It sounds as though Nuge is OK with being called a bobblehead, so long as it translates into big minutes.
“I don’t think I ever played 28 minutes before. I don’t remember that many minutes in junior. Maybe 25. But I have no idea. They never showed us our ice-time numbers,” he explained. “[Eakins] double-shifted and triple-shifted me.
“I’d be happy to do it again.”
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…
Coaches are quickly getting the hang of this challenge thing.
Following Mike Babcock’s successful challenge in Toronto’s opening-night loss to Montreal on Wednesday, Babcock’s provincial rival — Sens head coach Dave Cameron — got it right as well, successfully reversing Evander Kane‘s would-be equalizer in the third period.
From the league:
At 10:34 of the third period in the Senators/Sabres game, Ottawa requested a Coach’s Challenge to review whether Buffalo was off-side prior to Evander Kane’s goal.
After reviewing all available replays and consulting with NHL Hockey Operations staff, the Linesman determined that Buffalo’s Zemgus Girgensons was off-side prior to the goal. According to Rule 78.7, “The standard for overturning the call in the event of a ‘GOAL’ call on the ice is that the Linesman, after reviewing any and all available replays and consulting with the Toronto Video Room, determines that one or more Players on the attacking team preceded the puck into the attacking zone prior to the goal being scored and that, as a result, the play should have been stopped for an “Off-side” infraction; where this standard is met, the goal will be disallowed.”
Therefore the original call is overturned – no goal Buffalo Sabres.
The clock is re-set to show 9:32 (10:28 elapsed time), when the off-side infraction occurred.
As the league later noted, this was the first coach’s challenge under the offside scenario.