Colorado Avalanche v Vancouver Canucks

Luongo back in Vancouver: ‘I just want to make the best of it’

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He’s back in Vancouver.

Yes, Roberto Luongo took to the ice with his Canucks teammates on Friday and, naturally, his appearance in a uniform many thought he’d never wear again and a city many thought he’d only return to as a member of another team was cause for a massive media gathering.

Although, apparently, he didn’t really answer the question that was on a lot of people’s minds: is he happy to be back in Vancouver?

I’ve said all along I want to play,” Luongo told reporters. “Now I have that opportunity.

“I want to take advantage of that and I want to win some games. I want to go as far as we can and hopefully win the Stanley Cup. It’s a big year for me.”

He comes back to Vancouver as the undisputed starting goaltender (we revert your attention to his ProHockeyTalk piece on the Canucks’ back-up situation).

Luongo revealed to TSN’s James Duthie in an interview that was aired in August that he would be returning to the Canucks, following weeks of silence on his part and speculation from media and fans as to his future in Vancouver.

The Canucks’ ongoing goaltending saga hit its climax at the NHL Draft in June, when the organization, unable to trade Luongo and his 12-year, $64 million contract, shipped fellow netminder Cory Schneider to the New Jersey Devils for the ninth overall pick.

Schneider had been given the starting goalie duties midway through Vancouver’s first-round playoff series with the L.A. Kings back in 2012, and had retained the title when the 2013 regular season resumed following the lockout.

Video: Mika Zibanejad’s check to Tyler Bozak’s head

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Saturday’s been unkind to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and not just on the scoreboard (where it’s 3-0 early on against the Ottawa Senators).

The Maple Leafs lost Tyler Bozak to an apparent upper-body injury thanks to a questionable hit by Sens forward Mika Zibanejad.

You can judge that check (which drew a minor penalty for illegal check to the head) in the video above. Again, Bozak will not return to tonight’s game.

It’s unclear if Bozak will miss time beyond this contest.

Malcolm Subban hospitalized after taking puck to throat

Malcolm Subban
AP
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Scary stuff on Saturday: multiple reporters (including the Maine Hockey Journal’s Chris Roy) note that Malcolm Subban was taken to a hospital after a puck struck his throat during warm-ups.

There’s no word yet on Subban’s condition beyond that he was taken away in an ambulance.

The AHL’s Providence Bruins seem like they’ve been left scrambling for a backup goalie in Subban’s absence.

Subban stated days ago that he’s taken some significant steps forward during the 2015-16 season.

 

Senators get Kyle Turris back on Saturday

Ottawa Senators' Kyle Turris celebrates his game-winning goal against the Montreal Canadiens during overtime of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015, in Montreal. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP)
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The Ottawa Senators cannot pin all of their troubles on missing their No. 1 center, yet it probably feels like a huge relief to get him back.

After missing six games with his latest injury, Kyle Turris is in the lineup as the Senators take on the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Again, it’s not all a matter of missing Turris, but the Senators went 1-5-0 during his six-game absence. They’ve really been falling since late December, to be honest.

Will Turris be enough to stop the bleeding? Perhaps to an extent, but the Senators are in for a serious battle if they hope to fight through the East bubble.

Habs’ win was a showcase for P.K. Subban, Connor McDavid

Montreal Canadiens defensemen  P.K. Subban (76) holds off Edmonton Oilers' Connor McDavid during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Montreal, Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016. (Graham Hughes /The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
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Times have been tough for Montreal Canadiens and Edmonton Oilers fans lately, even if they’ve been frustrating in different ways.

Saturday’s 5-1 Habs win highlights a few things, but the most tantalizing thought for those fans is that it’s likely that we’ll see more great things from P.K. Subban and Connor McDavid … sometimes against each other.

Perhaps this will be a confidence booster for Montreal. More than anything else, it directed attention to Subban, who’s quietly been absolutely fantastic for the floundering Canadiens.

Consider how much of an offensive burden he’s currently carrying:

From one current All-Star to someone who could be a perennial one: McDavid certainly seemed to grab Subban’s attention.

Then again, when you make moves like these, who won’t notice?

The Oilers did lose, mind you, so it’s not surprising that Todd McLellan mentioned that the team can’t depend upon McDavid for everything.

That said, the funny thing about that quote is that McDavid might just carry the Oilers for two decades, at least if health and other factors go the right way.

If that’s true, Subban vs. McDavid could be a fun matchup to watch a few times per season for a long, long time.