Canadiens goaltender Carey Price returned from a lower-body injury last night that had sidelined him since the Olympics, but Montreal seems intend on exercising an abundance of caution when it comes to the star goaltender.
With that in mind, the Canadiens didn’t even want Price to travel with the team for tonight’s game in Buffalo, per the team’s Twitter account.
Canadiens coach Michel Therrien specified that Price was staying behind to rest and there’s no indication that he’s suffered a setback on Saturday. Price turned aside 30 of 34 shots as Montreal staged a dramatic 5-4 overtime victory against the Ottawa Senators.
Ottawa was ahead 4-1 late in the third period, but Montreal fought back, scoring the tying goal with 0.3 seconds left of regulation time.
Although it makes perfect sense to avoid using a goaltender that just returned from an injury in both halves of a back-to-back set, it does underscore how inopportune the timing of Price’s injury was.
Just one point separates second and fourth place in the Atlantic Division and Montreal only has 14 contests left in its schedule. Under normal circumstances, this would be the point where the Canadiens would be expected to lean heavily on Price, but it seems they don’t have that luxury yet.
Sometimes, the Nashville Predators were unlucky in November. Sometimes they were just bad.
Either way, they’re likely glad to step into December, and they’ve already gotten a big bounce. Watch how close this near-goal was into crossing the red line before Pekka Rinne barely stopped it with a well-placed goalie stick.
You can also see it up close via this GIF:
Here’s the NHL Situation Room Blog explanation for it remaining a no-goal:
At 13:06 of the first period in the Coyotes/Predators game, the Situation Room initiated a video review to further examine a play from 11:57. Video review confirmed the call on the ice that the puck did not cross the Nashville goal line. No goal Coyotes.
Alexei Emelin has been in and out of the Montreal Canadiens lineup, but this wasn’t the way they wanted him to keep his legs fresh.
The hard-hitting defenseman received a game misconduct and five-minute major penalty for a late hit on Columbus Blue Jackets forward Matt Calvert on Tuesday.
So far, it sounds like Calvert may be OK.
You can see video of that hit above, as well as a GIF of the infraction via My Regular Face.
Many believe that Emelin should not have been ejected.
Injuries have been a regular problem for Joffrey Lupul for much of his time with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and it doesn’t look like that’s changing in 2015-16.
The team placed him on injured reserve retroactive to Nov. 28, calling up Rich Clune in the process.
This IR stint means that Lupul will miss at least three games for Toronto.
From the sound of things, it’s a nagging issue, as NHL.com notes.
“He’s been having the same problem here for a bit,” Mike Babcock told media members on Sunday. “He doesn’t seem to be getting the power back that they thought, so we’re just trying to monitor it the best we can.”
Leafs Nation points out that Lupul has missed about one-third of Toronto’s contests since suffering a separated shoulder in April 2012.
At 32, there’s still time for Lupul to fight through this, although injuries generally accumulate with age.
Will Ryan Suter say something foolish during tonight’s game? Is Brent Burns‘ beard so long that it’s finally starting to scrape the ice?
We’ll find out the answer to those questions and more during Tuesday’s NBCSN doubleheader.
Need to follow the two games online? Never fear.
Game 1: Minnesota Wild at Chicago Blackhawks
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Game 2: Pittsburgh Penguins at San Jose Sharks
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