The last time Luke Gazdic of the Edmonton Oilers and Kevin Westgarth of the Calgary Flames fought, Westgarth was knocked to the ice in a very frightening scene.
That was back on March 1. Gazdic landed a heavy punched, which injured Westgarth. But the two dropped the gloves again on Saturday, in a spirited scrap in the first period. The two landed some heavy punches, but no one was hurt. Westgarth was shown skating to the penalty box, clapping his hands.
It appears, based on Westgarth’s recent comments, that the initial fight earlier this month was to act as some kind of deterrent for Gazdic’s physical play.
“(Gazdic) was kind of running around out there, taking shots at our D,” Westgarth recently told the Calgary Herald. “It makes the game safer, in my opinion … The point is to incur damage to the other guy.”
Coaches are quickly getting the hang of this challenge thing.
Following Mike Babcock’s successful challenge in Toronto’s opening-night loss to Montreal on Wednesday, Babcock’s provincial rival — Sens head coach Dave Cameron — got it right as well, successfully reversing Evander Kane‘s would-be equalizer in the third period.
From the league:
At 10:34 of the third period in the Senators/Sabres game, Ottawa requested a Coach’s Challenge to review whether Buffalo was off-side prior to Evander Kane’s goal.
After reviewing all available replays and consulting with NHL Hockey Operations staff, the Linesman determined that Buffalo’s Zemgus Girgensons was off-side prior to the goal. According to Rule 78.7, “The standard for overturning the call in the event of a ‘GOAL’ call on the ice is that the Linesman, after reviewing any and all available replays and consulting with the Toronto Video Room, determines that one or more Players on the attacking team preceded the puck into the attacking zone prior to the goal being scored and that, as a result, the play should have been stopped for an “Off-side” infraction; where this standard is met, the goal will be disallowed.”
Therefore the original call is overturned – no goal Buffalo Sabres.
The clock is re-set to show 9:32 (10:28 elapsed time), when the off-side infraction occurred.
As the league later noted, this was the first coach’s challenge under the offside scenario.
Didn’t take long for Jack Eichel to make his mark at the NHL level.
The No. 2 overall pick at this year’s draft scored his first-ever NHL goal in his first-ever NHL game on Thursday night, cutting Ottawa’s lead to 2-1 in the third period of Buffalo’s season-opener.
Marcus Foligno and another new Sabre, Evander Kane, registered the assists on Eichel’s marker, which came on the power play.