Winning a regular season game in October doesn’t erase the bitter taste of being swept in the playoffs, but it’s better than losing again. The Pittsburgh Penguins edged the Boston Bruins 3-2 on NBC SN Wednesday, so let’s discuss the contest and more.
- Pittsburgh carried the shot advantage, but the Bruins generated a frantic finish, with Marc-Andre Fleruy being up to the task. “The Flower” isn’t just winning (ninth victory of the season), he’s also putting up pretty nice numbers. Is it time for stats people to take it easier on MAF? Could he even fight for a Vezina with other big-name goalies struggling? Or will the other guy in net (Tuukka Rask) have a better chance?
- Many raved about the Penguins defense tonight. Can they carry that over into the postseason, when that part of their game has often floundered?
- Should Team Canada bring Chris Kunitz along because of his chemistry with Sidney Crosby or go for the guys who are more talented/prominent?
- Jarome Iginla scored his third goal and now has nine points in 11 games this season. How do you feel he fits in with the B’s?
- Do you consider these teams the odds-on favorites in the East? If not, who would fit that bill?
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…