Report: Carey Price wants $3 million from Habs or will go "on strike"

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careyprice3.jpgAfter the Montreal Canadiens traded Jaroslav Halak it was assumed that the team’s goaltending future was firmly in the hands of one-time savior Carey Price. Of course, part of the motivation for the Habs to deal Halak was because both he and Price were restricted free agents this year and with Halak’s performance in the playoffs, negotiations were slated to be awfully expensive and difficult. Instead, he went to the Blues in a trade and signed for $3.75 million a year over four years making things nice and neat there.

What about Carey Price? Price was outplayed last season, lost his starting job and now becomes the De facto starter in Montreal because of Halak’s departure. What could his salary demands actually be? If you asked CBC-Montreal reporter Michel Godbout, yyou might be shocked.

EXCLUSIVE: a very very reliable source close to Carey Price says the goalie wants 3 million per or he’s going on strike. Habs listening?

All right, we know how these things go with sources and whatnot, but Godbout is a pretty well established person in Montreal so consider that when you also break out your lucky grain of salt. The wording there is a bit curious as well. “Going on strike,” eh?

Good thing that there aren’t any goaltenders out on the free agent market that recently won a Stanley Cup and are in the prime of their career and are reportedly close to announcing where they’re playing this season.

Oh… Right. Antti Niemi is.

Raising a stink over money, if Price is indeed being a stickler about making $3 million, in the current goaltending climate with a viable option readily available it’s a really poor one because the Canadiens don’t technically need to offer him a contract any time soon if they don’t want to. Granted that makes life more difficult for them and likely makes Price never want to sign there, but that’s how the business works.

Considering how Price’s reputation amongst many Montreal fans has been a bit sullied due to past transgressions, he’d do well to to repair public opinion by not playing hardball with the Habs. Of course, it’s possible that Godbout’s information is poor and Price’s demands are a bit more reasonable, but we roll with what we’ve got in the first place.

Fights, hits and a blown kiss: Stars and Blues get nasty

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Things were getting out of hand between the Dallas Stars and St. Louis Blues on the scoreboard in an eventual 6-1 Blues win.

They were also getting a little raucous on the ice when it was clear that the Stars weren’t going to stage a comeback.

Jamie Benn was whistled for cross-checking Alex Pietrangelo, but it was Stephen Johns‘ hit from behind on Pietrangelo really revved up the violence.

Watch that hit and then the scrum that ensued in the video above, which included a scary display of an angry Ryan Reaves … who got creative at the end.

You may also want the kiss alone, so here it is:

Memo: rough stuff might not work so well against the Blues.

Read about that blowout here.

Blues bombard Stars, go up 2-1 in series

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Sometimes a final score is misleading. In the case of the St. Louis Blues’ 6-1 thrashing of the Dallas Stars, it might just be the start of the story.

Honestly, the most positive thing the Stars can say is “Well, at least it was just one game.”

It was one ugly game, however, and now the Blues hold a 2-1 series lead with a chance to really take control if they can win Game 4 at home.

The Blues dominated just about every category on Tuesday, firing more shots on goal, enjoying better special teams play and throwing more hits. They even blocked a higher number of shots, which often isn’t the case for the squad that carries play.

This leaves the Stars picking up the pieces, especially when it comes to their work in their own end.

Do you put greater blame on struggling goalies Kari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi or is this more about the Stars’ lax defensive coverage? The scary answer may be “Both,” and the Stars likely know that they need to find answers quickly.

On the bright side for Dallas, it is just one game … and the Blues were searching for answers of their own after Game 1.

We saw the Blues turn things around with these two straight wins, so now the Stars must show that they can gather themselves and play the attacking, out-score-your-mistakes style that got them here.

Granted, they may have to keep an eye out for supplemental discipline after some rough stuff toward the end of the game.

Predators smash Sharks to get back in series

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After a dispiriting 1-0 goal allowed by Pekka Rinne, things were looking bleak for the Nashville Predators for a moment there.

Nashville’s developed into a resilient group, however, and they stormed back for a commanding 4-1 win to shrink San Jose’s series advantage to 2-1.

The Predators saw some of their big names come up huge as the series shifted from San Jose to Nashville.

Pekka Rinne looked sharp following that first goal (and didn’t allow another). Their goals came from James Neal, Colin Wilson, Filip Forsberg and captain Shea Weber.

Weber’s tally was the game-winner, and it was downright thunderous:

Another promising sign: after a struggling to a 2-for-31 clip in previous playoff games, the Predators’ power play went 2-for-5 in Game 3.

Overall, the Predators really couldn’t ask for much more from this win, especially if Colton Sissons is indeed OK after a scary crash into the Sharks’ net.

Things could get really interesting if Nashville manages to “hold serve” with another home win on Thursday.

Stars’ goalie carousel goes around again: Lehtonen replaces Niemi

Dallas Stars goalie Antti Niemi (31) subs in for goalie Kari Lehtonen (32) during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015, in Dallas. The Stars won 6-5. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
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It’s pretty tough not to make jokes about the Dallas Stars spending $10.4 million on their goalies at times like these, even if Dallas’ defense should shoulder plenty of blame.

After Kari Lehtonen was pulled from a Game 2 loss, the St. Louis Blues chased Antti Niemi early in the second period of Game 3 after Niemi allowed three goals on 12 shots.

Troy Brouwer‘s 3-1 goal was enough for Lindy Ruff to give Niemi the hook:

Unfortunately for the Stars, Lehtonen got off to a slow start as well, allowing an immediate Vladimir Tarasenko goal.

The Blues are now 4-1 and the Stars are searching for answers … and probably wishing Tyler Seguin was around to help them out-score their problems.