Give it up to the Boston Bruins, they are the class of the NHL regular season.
The Bruins clinched the Presidents’ Trophy for the league’s best record in the regular season after they took out the Buffalo Sabres 4-1 on Saturday afternoon.
David Krejci had two goals and Patrice Bergeron scored his 30th goal of the season to lead the way for Boston. Tuukka Rask made 24 saves to get the win.
It’s the first time the Bruins have won the Presidents’ Trophy since the 1989-1990 season. That year, the Bruins lost to Mark Messier and the Edmonton Oilers in the Stanley Cup Final.
It wasn’t all good news for Boston, however, as Bergeron departed the game after the second period with what Claude Julien called a “very minor” injury and Daniel Paille was knocked out of the game after a big hit by Sabres defenseman Jake McCabe.
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…