James O'Brien

Max Pacioretty, Brendan Gallagher, Andrei Markov

Right, even without Price: Habs go 8-0


This just in: the Montreal Canadiens aren’t just about Carey Price.

To really hammer that point home, the Habs became just the second team to start a season with eight straight regular season wins … and they won this last one with Price taking a siesta.

Instead, little-known backup Mike Condon grabbed his second win in 2015-16, stopping 34 out of 36 shots.

It wasn’t close, either, as the Canadiens trounced the Sabres by a score of 7-2 in Buffalo.

It was a big night for a number of Canadiens, with Tomas Plekanec (three assists), P.K. Subban (also a trio of helpers) and Andrei Markov (one goal, four assists) maybe standing out the most.

Amusingly enough, the Sabres franchise pulled that off before, albeit 40 years ago.

If you remove the caveat of kicking off a season, it’s still a special run for a special franchise.

Jimmy Roberts, the original St. Louis Blue, passes away at 75

The St. Louis Blues released the following statement regarding Jimmy Roberts, who died of cancer at age 75:

“The St. Louis Blues and the Blues Alumni organization are deeply saddened by the passing of the original Blue Jimmy Roberts. Jimmy was the franchise’s first-ever draft pick and was instrumental in building the foundation of Blues hockey as a player and upholding its tradition as an alumnus. His tireless contributions to St. Louis, the Blues and the game of hockey as a whole will forever live as an example for future generations to follow. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Judy, and their two daughters.”

Roberts was obviously a huge part of the Blues organization, yet he also enjoyed success elsewhere.

He won five Stanley Cups with the Montreal Canadiens, and as you can see from the video above, also made an impact as a coach.

The hockey world mourned his loss on Friday. Here are some remembrances.

No Brian Boyle for Bolts on Friday

Brian Boyle

The Winnipeg Jets can be a real handful to deal with – especially when big Dustin Byfuglien gets rolling (just ask Jay Bouwmeester) – so the Tampa Bay Lightning might miss Brian Boyle a bit more than usual.

The hulking center is out with … well, the Lightning aren’t even saying which half of his body is hurt.

Boyle is considered day-to-day with that undisclosed injury.

If the day-to-day label didn’t make it clear (and sometimes that doesn’t), it appears as though this is a mostly minor issue for Boyle.

This is what the Lightning’s forward lines look like to start things off.

Brad Richards out with injury; Red Wings search for answers

Brad Richards
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The Detroit Red Wings and Calgary Flames may share a mutual feeling of disillusion, at least coming into Friday’s game.

The Red Wings will seek to find themselves with Brad Richards out of the mix. That injury – some call it a back issue, while the team stays hockey vague – isn’t the only reason Detroit is shuffling up its lines.

Still, it likely doesn’t help matters.

There are all sorts of alterations to both forward and defense mixes, including Dylan Larkin making way for Gustav Nyquist alongside Henrik Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader. Mike Green pairs up with Niklas Kronwall, as well.

MLive.com presents the full mix here, if you’re interested.

Disappointment can be spread pretty far and wide in Detroit so far, yet the veteran additions shouldn’t get off the hook. In six games, Richards only has two assists and Green has just one.

Voluntary or not, a little rest might be good for Richards.

Jason Demers suspended two games for elbowing Nick Bonino


The NHL suspended Dallas Stars defenseman Jason Demers two games for his elbow on Pittsburgh Penguins forward Nick Bonino.

The league explained that many “counter-hits” are OK, and that sometimes a penalty is sufficient punishment when such measures go over the line. However, the NHL believes that Demers deserves a suspension because he used his elbow recklessly and forcefully.

The contact happened during the Stars’ eventual win against the Penguins on Thursday. Losing two games of pay costs Demers $36,559.14.

He received a major and game misconduct during the game itself.

Bonino appears to be OK.