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.)

This fight between Tom Wilson, Chris Stewart got downright gory (Video)

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For those who decry the decline in fighting – in “blood and guts” hockey – Tuesday presented a bloody moment, one fairly high on this season’s Muta scale.

Also, for some, seeing it happen to Tom Wilson specifically may provide additional pleasure.

Anyway, as you can see in the video above, Minnesota Wild winger Chris Stewart bloodied the Washington Capitals pest in a fight. Whether you’re for, against or neutral toward Wilson, it’s quite the sight.

Wilson may be hurt, by the way. He missed some time but returned later in the contest.

Milestones: Matthews, Nylander break Leafs rookie records; Chara hits 600

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Auston Matthews likely ranks as the top reason that many Toronto Maple Leafs are starting to get the same feelings they had in better times, so it only makes sense that he broke a beloved Buds’ record on Tuesday.

With his 35th goal of a potential Calder season – but a brilliant debut either way – Matthews passed Wendel Clark for the Maple Leafs’ rookie record for goals in a season.

That goal was also meaningful for William Nylander, as he extended his point streak to 12 games with an assist. This team, fueled by young players, just keeps shattering first-year marks:

Switching gears, let’s go from new to (relatively) old: Zdeno Chara collected the 600th point of his outstanding career with an assist:

Yes, it’s true that most people think of his imposing size and all-world defensive instincts in praising Chara, but he’s been a respectable point producer, too.

U.S. women end boycott, will represent USA Hockey at worlds

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The U.S. women’s national team voted in favor of accepting USA Hockey’s deal, so they’ll participate in the world championship tournament. USA Hockey recently made the news official with this press release.

The press release confirmed a report that the contract will last four years, while financial terms were kept confidential. (Team members had been seeking a living wage to represent USA Hockey.)

“Our sport is the big winner today,” Team captain Meghan Duggan said. “We stood up for what we thought was right and USA Hockey’s leadership listened. In the end, both sides came together. I’m proud of my teammates and can’t thank everyone who supported us enough. It’s time now to turn the page. We can’t wait to play in the World Championship later this week in front of our fans as we try and defend our gold medal.”

The U.S. women’s national team is scheduled to face Canada on Friday.

Here’s a screen cap of the press release for your convenience:

Logan Couture can at least speak and eat following horrifying mouth injury

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As much as many of us suffer during a trip to the dentist, few can fathom the horrors hockey players often go through when a puck, stick or fist finds their teeth/mouths. Consult this vintage PHT post from 2010 if you want to cringe, a lot.

Much like Eddie Lack “only” dealing with a neck sprain, it’s strange to be heartened to hear that Logan Couture can speak and eat after his own painful ordeal, but that’s the positive update from the Mercury News on Tuesday.

Couture, Wilson said, did not need to have his jaw wired shut after a deflected puck caught him in the mouth on Saturday when the Sharks played the Nashville Predators.

“Hey, he can speak and eat … and his jaw isn’t wired shut!” Yeesh.

To little surprise, Couture isn’t playing on Tuesday. As far as the Sharks next three games (Thursday, Friday and Sunday), that remains to be seen.

As an aside, consider this: on the same day Jonathan Drouin‘s celebrating his birthday after helping the Lightning win, Couture is lucky if he can force down some birthday cake. Life: it isn’t always fair.

PHT discussed his trip to the dentist on Monday.

More mouth pain: When David Backes felt like his face was falling off.