A lot can change in the next period (and change), but so far, the narrative indicates that the home team has been dominant in the Anaheim Ducks – Dallas Stars first-round series. That disparity might be best shown in Frederik Andersen’s last few starts.
Andersen stopped 34 out of 36 shots to give the Ducks a 3-2 series lead in Anaheim. That’s a nice performance, but it’s now sandwiched between two games in Dallas in which the rookie goaltender has been pulled.
It happened in Game 4 and now a little more than halfway through Game 6, as a second sensational Trevor Daley goal sent Andersen packing. It’s difficult to argue with Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau’s decision on Sunday, in particular, as he allowed four goals on just 12 shots.
Trevor Daley’s second goal ultimately was the last straw:
Andersen was able to maintain control of the Ducks’ goalie position after the last time he was pulled, but the question is: if this series goes to a Game 7, would it be Jonas Hiller or Andersen?
There’s plenty of time for the Ducks to make that a discussion for the second round instead of a decisive Game 7, but right now it feels like that could be a serious question.
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…