From CSN Philly, ahead of tonight’s Kings-Flyers game that will feature the return of Jeff Carter and Mike Richards:
The game actually marks Carter’s first return to Philadelphia since he was traded in 2011. He was here with the Columbus Blue Jackets but was injured and didn’t play. Richards returned in October 2011 and predictably was greeted with a mix of cheers and boos. The duo expects more of the same tonight.
Since being traded out of Philadelphia in the summer of 2011 — reportedly because of their “hard-partying ways” — the two ex-Flyers stars have been reunited in Los Angeles, where they won the Stanley Cup together in 2012.
But that’s in the past now. The Flyers go into tonight’s game playing their best hockey of the season. They’ve won five straight and are 12-2-1 since the beginning of February. Included in those 12 victories are wins over St. Louis, Pittsburgh (twice), Chicago, NY Rangers, San Jose, Colorado and L.A.
Which is to say, they’ve beaten some pretty good teams.
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…