What's the right price for Carey Price?

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One restricted free agent that’s not getting much notice of late is Montreal’s Carey Price. After all, when you lost your job halfway through the season and played backup to a guy that was a veritable Superman in the playoffs in Jaroslav Halak, it’s expected that what was once a very bright future might seem a bit dim by comparison. The Canadiens made their decision, however, and traded Halak to St. Louis for Lars Eller and Ian Schultz.

So just what does a once benched but still very young (he’s only 23 years-old) and capable goaltender find his worth to be on the restricted market? Mike Boone of Habs Inside/Out takes a look at Price’s contemporaries around the NHL to try and figure it out, highlighting one comparison to the recently re-signed by the Wild, Josh Harding.

Harding played in 25 games last year, cmpared to 41 for Price. But their career numbers make an interesting comparison:

Price: 93 regular season GP, a record of 47wins, 28 losses and 13 overtime losses. GAA of 2.71, save percentage of 91.2

Harding: 83 GP, 28-39-8, 2.66, 91.5.

Harding is 26. Price turns 23 next month.

The tricky part about finding comparable goalies for Carey Price is that most of them aren’t as young as he is. The only goalies who are the same age as Price are others without much of a track record to work with as Boone points out.

Tuuka Rask, Boston, 23: 50, 25-13-6, 2.01, 93.0. $1 million this season, $1.5 million in 2011-’12, then an RFA.

Steve Mason, Columbus, 22: 61, 33-20-7, 2.29, 91.6. $765,000 this season, then a RFA.

Semyon Varlamov, Washington, 22: 32, 19-4-7, 2.49, 91.5. $850,00 this season, $765,000 in 2011-’12, then a RFA.

Rask is coming off his first real year in the NHL and has seized the starting job in Boston for now. Mason had the classic sophomore slump after a huge rookie year. How he responds next year will show if he’s got what it takes to keep it going in the NHL. Varlamov split time with Jose Theodore but it appears he and Michal Neuvirth are set to be the tandem to carry the Caps next year.

In other words, it’s tough to find an appropriate way to match up Price in both the workload and the salary demands. After bonuses, he took down about $2.2 million and you’d think that that would be the starting point for him to begin talks. Montreal has already made their bed with a backup goalie by signing Alex Auld so the starting job should be Price’s to lose. Then again, when it comes to Montreal you never really know how things will work out. After all, no one expected Jaroslav Halak to take over the starting job and lead the team to the Eastern Conference finals. That said, if Alex Auld takes the starting job over Carey Price next year, I think we’d all gag on our poutine.

Latest way the Wild lost? Killed by penalty kill

Minnesota Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk sits on the ice after giving up a goal to St. Louis Blues' Jori Lehtera, of Finland, during the second period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
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It’s said that variety is the spice of life, yet it seems to be the spite of the Minnesota Wild.

As head coach Mike Yeo said, this struggling team appears to find a new way to lose virtually every night. That couldn’t have happened once again on Saturday, when they fell 4-1 to the St. Louis Blues, could it?

Actually …

If you ask Jarret Stoll, the latest problem was the penalty kill.

Honestly, Stoll may have been too specific, likely trying to throw his own unit under the bus. Instead, it might be more accurate to say that Minnesota’s special teams let them down.

Indeed, the Wild struggled to limit the Blues’ power play, which went an unsettling 3-for-6. That said, Minnesota had a chance to trade blows with St. Louis. Instead, the Wild managed one power-play goal on seven opportunities.

The silver lining is that the Wild believe that they showed more fight than this fragile bunch had been generating before.

On the other hand, with Jonas Brodin on IR and Jared Spurgeon apparently hurt, that silver lining may not be so easy to see.

Statement in Blackhawks’ blowout of Stars? Coach Q says they’re even

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Worry (if you’re pulling for the Stars) or gloat (if you’re a Blackhawks fan) all you want, but the bottom line is that the Central Division’s No.1 spot is clearly in Chicago’s control after Saturday night.

The Blackhawks earned a decisive 5-1 win against the Dallas Stars, giving them a five-point standings lead over Dallas for the Central Division lead.

You may feel like that’s more of the same, but consider this: things would look a lot closer if Dallas won or gained points, as they hold three games in hand on the ‘Hawks.

At least one Blackhawks player admits this game means a little more than your average W.

Indeed, while Antti Niemi was pulled from the game and Kari Lehtonen faced his own struggles in Dallas’ net, Corey Crawford ranked as one of the big reasons why the score was so lopsided.

(Artem Anisimov had a big say in that, too.)

As a wise coach with 1,000+ games of experience would do, Joel Quenneville didn’t go overboard in assessing the victory.

Was this a statement game? Who knows, but a certain statement is that the Blackhawks now have a five-point standings lead.

Brad Marchand wins it … on a penalty shot … in overtime

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Looking at the standings, beating the Buffalo Sabres was pretty important for the Boston Bruins. The Atlantic Division’s run for spots appears particularly congested out East.

Of all the Bruins to get a chance to win it all, the team might have wanted Brad Marchand to have that opportunity. He’s on pace to destroy his previous career-highs for scoring, and Marchand’s been particularly hot lately.

Either way, Marchand came up big indeed, scoring the rare overtime game-winner on a penalty shot. Check out the drama below:

That can be a big extra point and ROW (regulation/overtime win) when the regular season is finished.

Note: Many believe that Marchand should not have received a penalty shot on the play.

Crosby kills the Cats: Penguins end Panthers’ winning streak

Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby (87) collides with Florida Panthers' Connor Brickley (86) during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
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For quite some time, it looked like the Florida Panthers would keep the Pittsburgh Penguins under wraps.

Florida nursed a 1-0 lead into a 2-0 margin almost halfway through the third period, looking to win its sixth consecutive game. That looked great … and then Sidney Crosby + Kris Letang happened.

Let’s put it this way: this GIF of Crosby being frustrated is amusing, yet it doesn’t exactly tell the story of Saturday’s 3-2 overtime win for the Penguins:

Instead, Crosby grabbed his 900th point assisting on a Letang goal, and finished the night with 902 by collecting the game-tying goal and grabbing a helper on Letang’s overtime game-winner.

Crosby crossing that barrier is indeed special, even if it prompts “What if?” questions about No. 87’s health.

The resurgence of Crosby and Letang already played a big role in the Penguins going from disjointed and frustrating to sneaky and scary, so it  shouldn’t be that surprising to see them play so well. Doing so in such brisk order is a little bewildering, however.