In a month or so, we’ll know if this 2-1 win against the Calgary Flames really means anything for the Vancouver Canucks. Still, it’s probably not a stretch to say that things would get that much uglier if they didn’t gut out a win on Saturday.
Eddie Lack & Co. shook off that embarrassing Brian McGrattan goal to end a four-game losing streak and stay in the thick of things for one of the last wild card spots in the Western Conference. If nothing else, it seems like Lack has the right attitude about shaking off tough goals.
He believes that a save he made against Joe Colborne was a needed confidence-booster after that shaky center-ice tally.
“I think it was important to make that save there,” Lack said.
(Colborne echoed Lack’s sentiments after the game.)
Whether you call it a resilient performance or merely getting the job done against a low-ranked team (or both), the Canucks grabbed those key two points. Here’s how the West playoff push, particularly the bubble situation, looks after tonight’s games (via NHL.com):
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…