For the first time since March 13, the Toronto Maple Leafs won a hockey game (or even grabbed any standings points, for that matter).
The fledgling franchise broke their eight-game losing streak by slipping by the Calgary Flames 3-2 on Tuesday. It probably warms a few hearts (or at least those of Dave Nonis and Randy Carlyle) that two offseason acquisitions helped Toronto win, as Dave Bolland scored and David Clarkson collected the game-winner.
(That was Clarkson’s first goal since Feb. 4. Let’s just say it was a night of ended streaks for the Maple Leafs.)
Sure, it was against the scrappy-but-out-of-it Flames, yet the Maple Leafs aren’t likely to complain about finally ending their slump.
The bad news is that the Maple Leafs will need other teams to stumble since they trail and only have five games remaining. The good news is that their competition generally stumbled, at least tonight; the Washington Capitals were trampled by the Dallas Stars while the Columbus Blue Jackets gave up a lead to lose in overtime to the Colorado Avalanche.
Stay tuned for a more detailed look at how the Leafs and the rest of the East’s teams fared on Tuesday, but the general takeaway is that it was a good night for Toronto. For once.
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…
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.