After an encouraging showing during the Wild’s skate this morning, Minnesota has activated goaltender Josh Harding off of the injured reserve list.
He missed Minnesota’s last three games while he changed his treatment protocol for Multiple Sclerosis. It originally looked like he also wouldn’t dress for tonight’s contest against Winnipeg, but this move suggests that there might be a last minute change.
As it is, the Wild currently have three goalies on their roster, including Johan Gustafsson, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Michael Russo.
Even if he still ends up sitting out of tonight’s game, the Wild have at very least indicated that he will return in the very near future. That will allow him to continue his unexpected push to become this season’s Vezina Trophy winner. Certainly, there’s a lot of time left, but he’s made a strong impression by posting a 1.51 GAA and .939 save percentage in 27 games.
The Wild simultaneously put defenseman Clayton Stoner on the injured reserve list with a lower-body problem. He won’t be eligible to return in time for Sunday’s contest against the New York Islanders.
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…