Carey Price

Carey Price is the NHL’s First Star of the Week

After posting a posting a 2-0-1 record, 0.65 goals-against average, .973 save percentage and two shutouts, Montreal Canadiens netminder Carey Price was named the NHL’s First Star of the Week. The highlight of Price’s week was posting wins (and consecutive goose eggs) over the ‘Canes and Rangers to move into 12th place on the Canadiens’ all-time list for goalie wins, passing the legendary Georges Vezina. Price should also pass Rogie Vachon, Charlie Hodge and Gerry McNeil this season and has an outside shot of eclipsing Jose Theodore for seventh place (141 wins; Price currently has 106.)

Second star went to San Jose defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic. He tied for the league scoring lead with seven points (1G, 6A) and posted a plus-7 rating as the Sharks won three straight and moved atop the Pacific Division. Vlasic now has 2G-9A-11PTS, tied for 23rd among all NHL defensemen, and is probably waiting to hear from the Vlasic Pickle people about potential endorsement opportunities. Seriously, how has this not happened yet?

Third star of the week went to Philadelphia Flyers rookie Matt Read. Read’s a pretty interesting story — after going undrafted out of Des Moines of the USHL (where he was teammates with Montreal’s Aaron Palushaj and Edmonton’s Jeff Petry), Read spent four years at Bemidji State before Philadelphia offered him a free agent deal in March.

Read scored four goals last week, including the game-winner with 18.6 seconds left against Phoenix. Even though he turned 25 this year, Read is still eligible for the Calder Trophy and has to be considered a serious candidate — he’s fourth in rookie scoring but leads all first-year players in goals scored, with eight.

(NB: Crazy to think, but Philly could’ve had three Calder candidates this year — Read, Sean Couturier and had he not broken his foot, Brayden Schenn.)

Kane scores OT-winner, caps Islanders’ bumpy start in Brooklyn

Patrick Kane
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On paper, it’s the perfect way to kick off meaningful hockey in Brooklyn, as the New York Islanders faced the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.

In reality, there were some highs and lows, culminating with Patrick Kane scoring a power-play overtime-winner to give Chicago a 3-2 (OT) win.

The Barclays Center crowd was going to be a big part of the story one way or another, but even by building-opening standards, the audience made some waves.

Indeed, Kane was greeted with some jeers during his first road appearance of the 2015-16 season, though he didn’t sound surprised.

(There were other controversial chants, apparently.)

Speaking of the crowd, it may not have been the greatest turnout:

ESPN goes way, way in depth on how the change of locale was received, by the way.

It wasn’t a perfect night inside the rink, either, as there weren’t exactly rave reviews about ice quality. New York Newsday’s Arthur Staple compared the ice to a “slushy” and “soup,” with an anonymous Islander (or Islanders) describing the conditions as “awful.”

Kane was pretty diplomatic about it, for what it’s worth.


So, no, it was not a perfect night for the Islanders.

They probably envisioned a teeming, perfectly mannered crowd. Management likely expected Jaroslav Halak to be in net, too.

Sometimes breaking ground is often about overcoming those early stumbles, though, and maybe the best review is to parallel the on-ice results: the Isles at least got a point out of it.

Let’s not forget that there are some cool perks that come with this situation, even if the specifics may vary.

If you want even more information/photos/etc., you’d probably do well to check out #IslesOpeningNight.

Columbus collapse: Rangers spoil Blue Jackets’ opener

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For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.

The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.

They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.

It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.

Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)

Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.