The Vancouver Canucks were upset with their lack of scoring and inability to defend a lead after a 2-1 loss to the Nashville Predators, but what about the guy who was making those saves?
It’s not Devan Dubnyk or Pekka Rinne who’s suddenly on a bit of a hot streak for Nashville. Instead, it’s been Carter Hutton, a goalie who Barry Trotz trashed for what he believed was a soft goal earlier in January.
At this point, the Predators have little choice but to ride out Hutton’s run, as Dubnyk has only managed to play in one ugly game since being traded to Nashville. Hutton now has a four-game winning streak, including three victories since Dubnyk came to town.
Jan. 14 (before Dubnyk): 22 out of 24 saves for win
Jan. 16: 27 out of 30 saves for win
Jan. 20: 35 out of 36 saves for win
Tonight: 33 out of 34 save for win
In a weird way, it reminds one of a mini-run Dubnyk made once Ilya Bryzgalov became available to play for the Oilers:
Nov. 16: 33 out of 35 saves for a win
Nov. 19: 14-save shutout for win
Nov. 21: 24 out of 25 saves for win
One could chalk up both situations to small sample sizes, but it also reinforces this season’s growing theme of there being little safety in assuming much of anything when it comes to goaltending.
Still, the Canucks view this as their failure rather than Hutton’s triumph, as Roberto Luongo stated.
“We have to protect leads,” Luongo said. “This is a tough one to lose.”
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…