Two years after NHL debut, Bulmer rejoins Wild

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In October 2011, Brett Bulmer was a 19-year-old rookie living the dream — scoring three points in his first nine games at the NHL level.

Two years later, he’s finally getting another shot at the bigs.

On Thursday, the Wild recalled Bulmer from AHL Iowa to fill the vacant roster spot left by Mathew Dumba, who has joined the Canadian national junior team.

Bulmer, now 21, missed out on the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign — the Wild, like all NHL teams, didn’t have a full training camp — and was slowed during this summer’s prospect camp and exhibition campaign by a knee injury.

The 39th overall pick in 2010, Bulmer was sent back to Junior following his NHL debut in ’11-12, and proceeded to score 62 points in 53 games with WHL Kelowna. But he’s failed to replicate that offensive production at the AHL level, scoring just seven points in 43 games last year and 12 in 21 games this year.

That said, Bulmer feels he’s ready to make his mark.

“I’m a very confident player now,” he told the Pioneer Press. “You have to be confident every night. If you don’t have the right mind-set going in, you’re not going to do anything.”

Kane scores OT-winner, caps Islanders’ bumpy start in Brooklyn

Patrick Kane

On paper, it’s the perfect way to kick off meaningful hockey in Brooklyn, as the New York Islanders faced the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.

In reality, there were some highs and lows, culminating with Patrick Kane scoring a power-play overtime-winner to give Chicago a 3-2 (OT) win.

The Barclays Center crowd was going to be a big part of the story one way or another, but even by building-opening standards, the audience made some waves.

Indeed, Kane was greeted with some jeers during his first road appearance of the 2015-16 season, though he didn’t sound surprised.

(There were other controversial chants, apparently.)

Speaking of the crowd, it may not have been the greatest turnout:

ESPN goes way, way in depth on how the change of locale was received, by the way.

It wasn’t a perfect night inside the rink, either, as there weren’t exactly rave reviews about ice quality. New York Newsday’s Arthur Staple compared the ice to a “slushy” and “soup,” with an anonymous Islander (or Islanders) describing the conditions as “awful.”

Kane was pretty diplomatic about it, for what it’s worth.


So, no, it was not a perfect night for the Islanders.

They probably envisioned a teeming, perfectly mannered crowd. Management likely expected Jaroslav Halak to be in net, too.

Sometimes breaking ground is often about overcoming those early stumbles, though, and maybe the best review is to parallel the on-ice results: the Isles at least got a point out of it.

Let’s not forget that there are some cool perks that come with this situation, even if the specifics may vary.

If you want even more information/photos/etc., you’d probably do well to check out #IslesOpeningNight.

Columbus collapse: Rangers spoil Blue Jackets’ opener

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For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.

The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.

They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.

It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.

Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)

Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.