It’s Dan Mount and I’m back to blogging for the show. This week I’m busting out the new blog called Three Periods, where I go over three important things you need to know about the NHL. (In the offseason, I’ll change it up for you.)
Let’s get started.
Not even the best Hollywood script writer could come up with the tale that’s been told could come up with the mess that is the Patrick Kane situation. For those that don’t know, Kane is accused of sexually assaulting a Buffalo area woman in August.
The case was going to go before a grand jury earlier in the month, but it was pushed back due to a possible settlement. However, the case seemed to take a weird turn when the accuser’s attorney Thomas J. Eoannou made a public claim of evidence tampering on Wednesday.
In a stranger turn, Eoannou stepped away from the case Thursday evening due “misrepresentations” made about the evidence bag. The move throws the case into doubt, and Kane’s attorney Paul Cambria believes the entire case against the superstar Chicago Blackhakws’ forward has been fabricated.
There’s still a lot to deal with in the case, and it may still be far from over. However, things are starting to look better for Kane than they did on Wednesday.
The new 3-on-3 overtime that’s being experimented with is fantastic. The new rules for the extra session are meant to derail teams from playing for the shootout. The NHL had been going with 4-on-4 in OT, but that really didn’t decide the issue.
The NHL decided to take a page from the American Hockey League, and incorporate their overtime rules that had a 3-on-3 period before the game would be decided by a glorified drill. Fifty-six percent of games that went to overtime went to the shootout, and fans weren’t pleased about it.
There have been some fantastic rushes, great goaltending and amazing play all the way around with the new overtime rules. Preseason games have been doing this no matter the score. It’s been nothing but mayhem, and that’s how the fans want it.
There is also a new coach’s challenge that allows a coach to dispute an official’s call. However, it comes with a risk. Like the NFL, the coach loses a timeout if the challenge is not successful. The big thing is that NHL coaches only have one timeout to use in a game.
That adds a degree of difficulty in making a decision on whether to call the timeout to stem momentum or to save it in case a coach needs it for late. There will be some anxious moments for NHL bench bosses.
I know it’s a little late, but I’d like to send my heartfelt condolences to the family of Hall of Fame coach Al Arbour. He was the coach of the great New York Islanders teams that won four consecutive Stanley Cups to start the 1980s.
Arbour was one of the most respected minds in the game, and held in high regard by fans of all affiliations. The Islanders will honor him with a patch on their jersey this season. He won 740 games in 19 seasons as the bench boss for the Islanders.
He was called the “Vince Lombardi of hockey” by former Isles legend Pat LaFontaine. He made the postseason 15 times and turned in 119 playoff victories, including taking 19 consecutive playoff series until the Edmonton Oilers ended New York’s legendary run.
No matter what team you supported, there’s no denying Arbour was one of the greats behind the bench.
What do you think? Do you want me to cover something on Three Periods? Drop me a line on Twitter @DanMountSports or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dan Mount is a producer for Spadora on Sports. His blog can be found at www.spadoraonsports.com. He also writes for The Hockey Writers and NHL on the Ice.