Pens GM, coach agree Thornton suspension sends a message


Following news of Boston Bruins forward Shawn Thornton’s 15-game suspension, Pittsburgh Penguins GM Ray Shero and head coach Dan Bylsma had a basic message, as both mostly praised the player while criticizing the incident itself.

“I think it’s a pretty strong message,” Bylsma said.

Bylsma said that the ruling speaks volumes about getting those types of incidents out of the game. He also noted that while Brooks Orpik did skate on Friday, it was “strictly to be active” and doesn’t indicate that he’s seen in a reduction in symptoms.

The video below covers Shero’s comments, which echo what Bylsma said:

The Penguins’ Saturday contest included a questionable incident, as Deryk Engelland was ejected for a hit on Justin Abdelkader of the Detroit Red Wings. The above quotes came before the game, in case you’re wondering …

Video: Flyers, Bolts confirm 3-on-3 OT is pretty much the greatest thing ever

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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.

In Jets return, Burmistrov delivers headshot to Bergeron (Updated)


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…