Carey Price

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PHT Jersey Review: Montreal Canadiens 1912-13 retro uniforms

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As the NHL remains on a pause Pro Hockey Talk is going to dive back into hockey history and remember some really wild jersey designs.

The Montreal Canadiens celebrated their centennial season in 2008-09 and 2009-10. During that year, they brought back some important alumni, retired numbers to the rafters and brought back some of the vintage jerseys they used during their 100-year history.

One of the jerseys they rolled out was the “barber pole” uniforms they originally wore during the 1912-13 regular season.

The Canadiens’ classic jersey in either red or white is one of the most beautiful and iconic in all of professional sports. Even the biggest Habs hater would admit that it’s one of the great jerseys in history.

But although I don’t disagree with the decision to use this one, this 1912-13 look should stay there from now on. The Habs were never going to roll this out as their primary jersey and it’s cool that they brought back a whole bunch of different looks, but this one was memorable for all the wrong reasons.

For those wondering, the “CAC” in the leaf on the crest of the jersey stands for “Club Athlétique Canadien”.

As hideous as they were, It was important for them to use these uniforms and to bring them back for one night because that was a significant part of their history. The organization does a great job of celebrating its history, but these jerseys shouldn’t be brought back until the team celebrates their 200-year anniversary (I’m pretty sure I’ll be gone by then).

The players used blue gloves and pants while wearing these, but the goalies went a little more old school. Both Carey Price and Jaroslav Halak (pictured below) wore those old-school brown pads, blockers and gloves, which spiced up the look a little bit.

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Check out these jerseys in action. This is from a Feb. 1, 2008 game at the Bell Center against the Boston Bruins. You’ll notice that unless the camera has a tight shot of the player, it’s impossible to read the name on the back of the jersey.

Yes, you’ll often find this on a list of “the worst jerseys in hockey history”. The people who hate the sweater aren’t wrong, but going back in their history and using this for one night was memorable, nobody can deny that. Anyone who has seen this jersey will never forget it. Sure, that might be because the look wasn’t great, but the idea itself wasn’t terrible.

How do you feel about these? Do you see what the Canadiens were trying to do, or was this a complete swing-and-a-miss?

Joey Alfieri is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @joeyalfieri.

Healthy Carter Hart driving Flyers’ recent surge

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You could not possibly blame Philadelphia Flyers fans if they were some combination of wildly optimistic and simultaneously terrified with the way goalie Carter Hart has began his NHL career.

On one hand, there is plenty of reason to believe he could finally be the franchise goalie they have been waiting decades for their team to find.

On the other hand, this is a Flyers goalie we are talking about. If there is a team and fanbase that knows a thing or two about false hope and crushing disappointment at the position, it is them. At this risk of being hyperbolic, they have been to goalies what the Cleveland Browns have been to quarterbacks. It is almost as if you are always waiting for Lucy to pull the football away at the last second when a Flyers goalie is the topic of discussion and there is even a shred of optimism about their play

The list of names that have trailed — and ultimately failed — to lock down that position is an exercise in “hey, do you remember that guy?” fun. Just consider that since the start of the 2000 season the Flyers have had eight different goalies start at least 99 games for the franchise. That is more than any other team in the league. The only teams that have had at least seven during that stretch are Toronto and Atlanta/Winnipeg. For the Flyers, that list includes everyone from Roman Cechmanek, to Ilya Bryzgalov, to Antero Niittymaki, to Robert Esche.

Many have tried to fix the problem. Some gave them real reason for excitement. All have failed to some degree.

But ever since the Flyers drafted Hart in the second-round of the 2016 draft (when he was the first goalie taken off the board at No. 48 overall) there has been hope and anticipation that he could finally be the guy.

It is still very early in his career, but the early returns have been everything the Flyers could have realistically hope for, and probably more.

He’s been one of the league’s best goalies since the start of November

Since returning to the Flyers’ lineup on February 10 after missing a month due to injury, he has been one of the driving forces behind their improbable climb to the top of the Metropolitan Division.

He is 8-1-0 in his nine starts during that stretch with a .928 save percentage.

He has won 10 of his past 11 decisions overall, and has been mostly outstanding for the season once he got over a brutal start in October.

Since Nov. 1 he is in the top-10 among goalies (with at least 20 starts) in all-situations save percentage and even-strength save percentage.

Most goalies aren’t this good at this age

What is perhaps most important for the Flyers is that he is doing all of this at an age when most goalies are not being asked to take on this sort of role. Hart does not turn 22 until August and is already starting to establish himself as bonafide No. 1 goalie in the league. As of Friday, he has appeared in 72 games for his career and owns a more than respectable .914 overall save percentage. Just for some historical context, here are the only goalies in NHL history to appear in at least 40 games before turning 22 and also having a save percentage above .910:

  • Roberto Luongo (71 games played, .914 save percentage)
  • Hart (72 games played, .914 save percentage)
  • Andrei Vasilevskiy (40 games played, .913 save percentage)
  • Martin Brodeur (51 games played, .913 save percentage)
  • Carey Price (93 games played, .912 save percentage)
  • Felix Potvin (52 games played, .912 save percentage)

Pretty good list of goalies there.

His already strong play, as well as the way he has performed since returning from injury, could make the Flyers a potentially dangerous team come playoff time. They are already an above-average defensive team in pretty much every key defensive metric, while also possessing a deep, talented group of forwards that has made them one of the league’s highest scoring teams.

Now they might actually have the goalie to help bring everything all together.

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

The Buzzer: The David Ayres show; Canucks and Coyotes win big

NHL Scores
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Three Stars

1. David Ayres, Carolina Hurricanes. Nobody expected this. He started the day as a 42-year-old Zamboni driver. He finished the day 1-0 in the NHL after stopping eight out of 10 shots for the Hurricanes in a 6-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Just for good measure, he also recorded a shot on goal. One of the most incredible stories in recent NHL history. Read all about it right here.

2. Clayton Keller, Arizona Coyotes. The Coyotes and Lightning have been at opposite ends of the NHL spectrum over the past month. Tampa Bay has been nearly unbeatable. The Coyotes entered the game with just five wins since the first week of January. So of course it was the Coyotes that cruised to a 7-3 win to help keep pace in the Western Conference playoff race. Keller was one of the big stars of the night with two goals and an assist in the win.

3. Tyler Toffoli, Vancouver Canucks. The other rout in the NHL on Saturday took place in Vancouver where the Canucks put a 9-spot on the board against the Boston Bruins. Toffoli was one of the many offensive stars for the Canucks, scoring two goals and an assist in the win. He was the Canucks’ big trade acquisition and is going to need to take on an even larger role than originally expected in the absence of Brock Boeser. He made that impact on Saturday.

Other notable performance from Saturday

  • Devils goalie Mackenzie Blackwood stayed out for the New Jersey Devils by helping them spoil Alex Ovechkin‘s big day in a 3-2 Devils win.
  • Jack Eichel scored a pair of goals to help the Buffalo Sabres stun the Pittsburgh Penguins in a 5-2 win that was not as close as the final score would indicate.
  • Scott Laughton scored two goals for the Philadelphia Flyers in a 4-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets.
  • Carey Price recorded a shutout and Max Domi scored twice for the Montreal Canadiens as they topped the Ottawa Senators.
  • Jesper Fast was one of the difference-makers for the New York Rangers as they beat the San Jose Sharks, 3-2, on Saturday night.
  • Reilly Smith scored two goals against his former team to help the Vegas Golden Knights to a 5-3 win over the Florida Panthers.
  • Rocco Grimaldi scored the shootout winner for the Nashville Predators to cap off an eight-round shootout win against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
  • Joonas Donskoi‘s shootout winner lifted the Colorado Avalanche to a 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings.

Highlights of the Night

Alex Ovechkin scores the 700th goal of his career. Read all about it here (and here).

Artemi Panarin helped the New York Rangers keep rolling on Saturday, and this ridiculous play set up the Rangers’ first goal of the night.

The entire eight-round shootout for the Predators and Blue Jackets.

Moment of the Night

Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour addresses his team and his temporary goalie.

Factoids

  • David Ayres became the oldest goalie in NHL history to ever win his debut. [NHL PR]
  • No denying that Ovechkin is not only one of hockey’s all-time greats, but one of the all-time greats in all of major North American sports. [NHL PR]
  • Carolina’s Sebastian Aho extended his point streak to 12 games, currently the longest in the NHL. [NHL PR]

Scores

New Jersey Devils 3, Washington Capitals 2
Philadelphia Flyers 4, Winnipeg Jets 2
Buffalo Sabres 5, Pittsburgh Penguins 2
Carolina Hurricanes 6, Toronto Maple Leafs 3
Montreal Canadiens 3, Ottawa Senators 0
New York Rangers 3, San Jose Sharks 2
Arizona Coyotes 7, Tampa Bay Lightning 3
Nashville Predators 4, Columbus Blue Jackets 3 (SO)
Vancouver Canucks 9, Boston Bruins 3
Vegas Golden Knights 5, Florida Panthers 3
Colorado Avalanche 2, Los Angeles Kings 1 (SO)

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

NHL stars praise Alex Ovechkin as he hits 700 career goals

There’s a new member of the 700-goal club and his name is Alex Ovechkin. At 4:50 of the third period against the Devils on Saturday, the Capitals captain fired one by Mackenzie Blackwood to reach the historic mark.

Ovechkin scored goal No. 699 in an OT loss to the Canadiens after five straight games without a point. No. 8 controlled a rolling puck after Nicklas Backstrom won a faceoff cleanly in the offensive zone, then fired a wrist shot past Carey Price.

The Washington Capitals captain is now the eighth member of the exclusive NHL club. He joins Mike Gartner (708), Phil Esposito (717), Marcel Dionne (731), Brett Hull (741), Jaromir Jagr (766), Gordie Howe (801), and Wayne Gretzky (894).

NBC

Ovechkin has been doing this since he broke in the league in 2005 and his peers continue to marvel at his goal-scoring exploits.

NBC Sports recently sat down with T.J. Oshie, Patrick Kane, Eric Staal, Sidney Crosby, David Pastrnak, Max Pacioretty, Nathan MacKinnon, and John Carlson to talk about Ovechkin’s career and his pursuit of Gretzky’s all-time record.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

Alex Ovechkin scores 700th goal with a blast

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He did it. Alex Ovechkin scored his 700th career goal on Saturday as the Capitals faced the Devils.

Ovechkin scored his historic goal from the opposite faceoff circle from his typical “office.” It was a significant goal, tying Washington 2-2 with New Jersey a few minutes into the third period. Ovechkin reaching his 700th goal with such gusto really adds to the experience.

(Watch video of Ovechkin scoring his 700th goal in the video above.)

Ovechkin makes history with 700th goal

It marks his second goal in as many games after sitting at 698 goals for five agonizing contests. Well, they were agonizing for those anxiously awaiting number 700. Ovechkin’s response was basically “Whatever.” Ovechkin scored 30 of his 700 career goals against the Devils.

Ovechkin joins an illustrious group including Wayne Gretzky (894), Gordie Howe (801), Jaromir Jagr (766), Brett Hull (741), Marcel Dionne (731), Phil Esposito (717) and Mike Gartner (708). Ovechkin became the second player to score 700+ goals with a single team, as Howe scored 786 with the Red Wings before continuing a hockey journey that eventually included playing alongside his sons.

Jagr was the most recent player to reach 700 on March 1, 2014.

Ovechkin scored goal No. 699 in an OT loss to the Canadiens after five straight games without a point. No. 8 controlled a rolling puck after Nicklas Backstrom won a faceoff cleanly in the offensive zone, then fired a wrist shot past Carey Price.

Ovechkin, 34, became the second youngest and fastest player (1144 games) to score 700 goals, trailing Gretzky who was 29 years old (886 games) when he scored his 700th in January 1991 as a member of the Los Angeles Kings.

Earlier this month, Ovi also became only the second player to score 40 goals in 11 seasons, trailing Gretzky’s record of 12. Ovechkin now has 42 goals in 60 games this season, giving himself a shot at another Maurice Richard Trophy.

The Devils ended up beating the Capitals 3-2. Maybe Washington can get back on track now that Ovechkin got this 700th goal out of the way? Their struggles aren’t on Ovechkin, but the Caps are struggling as a team nonetheless. (They have to be pleased with Pittsburgh losing to the Sabres on Saturday, though.)

Ovechkin’s quest for 700th goal:

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.