Nathan Beaulieu

Habs recall Beaulieu…again


The Montreal Canadiens have called up defenseman Nathan Beaulieu from AHL Hamilton.

And no, this is not a repeat.

Beaulieu, the club’s first-round pick (17th overall) at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, has been constantly shuffled back and forth between Montreal and Hamilton over the last month, earning a truckload of frequent flier miles in the process.

Here’s just a snippet of what the 20-year-old has gone through, from an Oct. 10 piece in the Montreal Gazette:

[Beaulieu] was returned to Hamilton on Sept. 26, during training camp, then recalled Oct. 1, a press-box viewer of the Canadiens’ home opener vs. Toronto.

Two days later he was back in Hamilton, summoned again a day after that, where he got to watch the Habs beat the Philadelphia Flyers.

Then, returned to Hamilton the next day before being called out west this Tuesday [Oct. 8].

Since this piece was published, Beaulieu’s been back up and down a few more times, though he did manage to make his NHL debut on Oct. 10 (against Edmonton) and play his second career game on Oct. 15 (against Winnipeg).

In Montreal’s defense, the club is going through a rash of injuries and needs to continually shuffle bodies on and off the active roster. Alexei Emelin, Douglas Murray, George Parros, Daniel Briere, Max Pacioretty and Brandon Prust are all out with various ailments.

And hey, Beaulieu seems to have a pretty good grip on what’s happening right now:

Start the Carr: Habs recall another player from the minors

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There’s been a lot of movement between Montreal and Saint John’s lately and that continued on Sunday.

This time, it’s forward Daniel Carr who’ll be getting a stint with the big club.

Carr has no prior NHL experience.

The 24-year-old spent four years at Union College before joining the Canadiens organization as an undrafted free agent.

In his first season as a pro, Carr scored 24 goals (led the team) and 39 points in 76 AHL games with the Hamilton Bulldogs in 2014-15.

This year, Carr has seven goals and 15 points in 20 games.

Montreal is without forwards Torrey Mitchell, Brendan Gallagher and Alexander Semin.

Campbell’s perfect snipe sinks Wings in OT


Brian Campbell doesn’t score as many points as he used to, but he came up with a huge goal against the Red Wings on Sunday afternoon.

With the game tied, 1-1, in overtime, Campbell skated into the slot and beat Petr Mrazek with a perfect wrister to end the game.

It was also a pretty nice passing play between Jussi Jokinen, Jonathan Huberdeau and Campbell.

Dylan Larkin opened the scoring in the second period before Reilly Smith leveled the score with just over five minutes remaining.

The Wings have blown a lead in three straight games.

Detroit was up 2-0 and 3-2 in their last game, against Edmonton, before they finally closed the game out with an overtime goal by Niklas Kronwall.

They weren’t so fortunate against the Bruins on Wednesday, as they lost 3-2 in OT after leading 2-1 with under two minutes remaining in regulation.

This was the first meeting of the season between Detroit and Florida, but they’ll see each other three times between Feb. 4 and Mar. 19.

With Jonathan Bernier sputtering, we’ll meet Garret Sparks

Garett Sparks
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You can’t blame Mike Babcock for siding with the relatively unknown when the other option is Jonathan Bernier, a goalie who’s 0-8-1 so far in 2015-16.

With that in mind, meet Garret Sparks, the Toronto Maple Leafs’ expected starter for Monday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers.

Sparks was a seventh-round pick (190th overall) in 2011, a guy who was off to a great start in the AHL. That much wasn’t lost on Babcock.

Let’s face it, though; this is as much about the Leafs’ other two goalies as it is about Sparks (whose name inspired a very obscure reference in this post’s headline).

In Bernier’s case, there’s an “enough’s enough” feel:

Meanwhile, James Reimer‘s not quite healthy enough to play yet, so the window of opportunity is open for Sparks … a little bit.

Sparks will get a chance to make an impression, even if it’s just a small one.

Video: Dylan Larkin adds to his rookie goals lead

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So far, the 2015-16 crop of rookies is living up to the hype, if not exceeding it. Connor McDavid‘s unfortunate injury hasn’t even derailed this year’s crop.

The Detroit Red Wings are watching their own blue chip blossom, as Dylan Larkin is making an instant impact.

No. 71 scored his 10th goal of the season against the Florida Panthers on Sunday, fattening his rookie goals lead.

He still needs five points to match rookie points leader Artemi Panarin, though.