Watch P.K. Subban get ejected in final minute after linesman’s skate leads to Sabres empty netter

Jared Clinton
P.K. Subban (via Streamable)

The Montreal Canadiens have struggled mightily over the past three months, so one would understand if some of the players were reaching the peak of their frustration, even in the midst of a three-game win streak. For P.K. Subban, the toll the past few months has taken may have come out all at once in the final minute of Friday’s game against the Buffalo Sabres.

Montreal was down a goal with the net empty and less than a minute remaining with the puck in Buffalo’s zone when a pass was intercepted by the Sabres’ Ryan O’Reilly and cleared down the ice. With the puck heading down the boards and towards the Canadiens’ zone, it appeared Subban was going to reach the puck in time to turn it back up ice for one last Montreal rush. Instead, it caught the skates of linesman Brad Kovachik and died.

Buffalo’s Evander Kane, who was chasing the puck, was able to scoop it up and fire it into the open net, all the while Subban was motioning wildly about the play that had occurred in front of him: Read more

Report: Carey Price could miss the rest of the regular season

Jared Clinton
Carey Price (Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

Canadiens netminder Carey Price has been out of the lineup since Nov. 27, but he doesn’t appear any closer to returning. The 28-year-old netminder has been working to get back since mid-January and has been participating in light skates while recovering from an undisclosed lower-body injury.

However, according to La Presse’s Richard Labbe, fans in Montreal shouldn’t be counting on Price to return any time soon — or at all during the regular season. Labbe reported Friday morning that the Canadiens are no longer expecting Price to return to the ice before the regular season concludes, meaning if Montreal is to make the post-season, they’re going to have to do so without their all-world netminder.

While the specifics of Price’s injury have never been revealed, Labbe reported Price is battling through an MCL injury in his right knee. Price hasn’t gone under the knife to repair the injury, but Labbe added that surgery has only been ruled out “for now at least.” Read more

Rumor Roundup: Canadiens GM Bergevin looking for offensive help

Lyle Richardson
(Photo by Richard Wolowicz/GEtty Images Sport)

As the Montreal Canadiens continue to plummet in the standings, calls are rising for GM Marc Bergevin to do something to save their dwindling playoff hopes. As Bergevin has publicly stated he won’t change the coaching staff, his only option is the trade market.

The more the losses pile up, the more the trade rumor mill buzzes in anticipation over Bergevin’s plans. There’s been talk of pursuing Carolina Hurricanes captain Eric Staal. Sportsnet’s Eric Engels recently reported right winger Dale Weise and defenseman Tom Gilbert could be shopped if the losing continues.

Read more

Canadiens finally get good news as Price works on lateral movement in goalie equipment

Jared Clinton
Carey Price (Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

Good news has been hard to find for Montreal Canadiens fans, but there was a promising sight on the ice Friday as goaltender Carey Price, sidelined since Nov. 27 with a lower-body injury, donned a glove and blocker and worked on his lateral movement in the goal crease during a skating session.

According to NHL.com’s Arpon Basu, who also provided video of Price’s movement on ice, the 2014-15 Vezina Trophy winning netminder spent roughly an hour on ice and only part of his ice time was dedicated to getting back in the crease. Basu reported that Price also spent time working on handling the puck, including work clearing pucks from behind the net, while wearing his blocker and glove and using his goal stick. Read more

Canadiens’ struggles impact team award as improbable collapse continues

Jared Clinton
Mike Condon (Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

The past two months have been a seemingly endless nightmare for the Montreal Canadiens. Since the beginning of December, the Canadiens have slipped from first place in the Atlantic Division and first in the entire NHL to sitting five points out of the post-season. In their past 26 games, Montreal has posted a 5-20-1 record, far and away the worst record in the NHL over that span.

If you’re looking for another example of just how bleak things have been for the Canadiens, though, look no further than the team-awarded player of the month award, the Molson Cup. No player received the award for January, a month in which the Canadiens went 3-7-1.

That in and of itself is not necessarily an indictment of the Canadiens play as the award is handed to the player with the most first-, second- and third-star votes throughout a month. According to RDS’ Francois Gagnon, each of Brendan Gallagher, Max Pacioretty and Lars Eller tied for the award with a first star and third star honor in January. However, that three players tied for the award speaks to the team’s mediocrity over the past month, and marks the first time this has happened in the 43-year history of the award. Read more

Pacific Division captain guides team to inaugural 3-on-3 All-Star Game win

Daniel Nugent-Bowman
John Scott (Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

John Scott’s bizarre, winding journey to the NHL All-Star Game ended in storybook fashion.

With the fans in Nashville chanting “MVP” each time he stepped onto the ice in the dying minutes, Scott’s Pacific Division team finally secured a 1-0 victory in the championship round of the 3-on-3 tournament against the Atlantic stars.

The fans got what they wanted. Scott, who scored two goals over the course of the event, was presented with a new car to go along with a small trophy. That was after his Pacific teammates Brent Burns and Mark Giordano hoisted their captain in the air like a modern-day Daniel ‘Rudy’ Ruettiger.

John Scott, MVP, was the star of the show.

John Scott. (Brian Babineau/Getty Images)

John Scott. (Brian Babineau/Getty Images)

Of course, Scott’s road to that moment was a little different than that of Ruettiger, the undersized Notre Dame Fighting Irish defensive end whose struggle to play collegiate football was told in a famous 1993 film.

Scott, a 6-foot-8, 260-pound left winger, began this season playing for his sixth NHL organization since he entered pro hockey with the AHL’s Houston Aeros. As a noted enforcer, his hands were used more for slugging opponents than scoring. He had 542 penalty minutes compared to five career goals.

But Scott won the fan vote to gain an all-star spot and become the Pacific Division captain. That spot was in question when the Coyotes dealt Scott, who’d played in only 11 games, to Montreal and the Canadiens sent him to their AHL affiliate, the St. John’s IceCaps.

In a piece on the Players’ Tribune, Scott even alleged a representative from the NHL tried to coerce him not to attend the game.

Of course, attend he did. And the crowd ate it up.

They gave him a standing ovation before he took his slapshots in the hardest shot event at the Skills Competition.

But Sunday was really his time to shine.

Scott tapped in a pass from Burns for his first all-star goal and went down on one knee to celebrate. He checked former teammate Patrick Kane, recording the first all-star hit since 2003 in the process, and then pretended to duke it out with the Chicago Blackhawks star.

Scott’s second goal had some style points as he ripped a shot by Minnesota Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk on a breakaway.

It was impossible to remove the smile from Scott’s face whenever the camera was on him.

Scott was all anyone wanted to talk about by the time the weekend was over.

It’s safe to say no one would have predicted that back in October.

Canadiens’ Subban and Sharks’ Burns display breakaway flair

Brent Burns (Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

The breakaway challenge at the NHL All-Star Skills Competition was designed to get players to show off some personality, have a little fun and display some niffy moves.

Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban, San Jose Sharks blueliner Brent Burns, Nashville Predators left winger James Neal and Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene got the memo.

Subban won the fan-driven Twitter vote after he put on a No. 68 Florida Panthers jersey, a long-flowing mullet-esque wig and an old-school Jofa helmet. He completed his homage to future Hall of Famer Jaromir Jagr by giving the Jagr salute after he tucked a chance by Predators goalie Pekka Rinne.

His first attempt wasn’t too shabby either as he bounced the puck on his stick, kicked the disc behind his back and eventually batted it towards Rinne.

Burns’ most hilarious attempt came after he put on a mask of Star Wars character Chewbacca – a reference to his unruly facial hair. Burns skated in, ripped a slapshot past New Jersey Devils netminder Cory Schneider and raised his arms much like Chewie.

Neal got a little help from country music star Dierks Bentley, an appropriate linemate since the event was in the Music City. Neal set up Bentley on a 2-on-0 rush.

For his part, Duchene probably had the prettiest try. He cradled the puck back and forth with one hand on his stick. He also scored with one hand on his stick, using a between-the-legs move.

With or without Carey Price, the Canadiens still need to upgrade their depth

Mike Brophy
Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game Four

Remember way back in October when I suggested on THN.com that in order for the Montreal Canadiens to become legitimate Stanley Cup contenders they needed to upgrade their skill and depth at the forward and defense positions?

And how I believed it would be a critical error for GM Marc Bergevin to rely so heavily on all-world goaltender Carey Price to carry his team to the Promised Land?

Well, even though the column was mostly complimentary about the Canadiens, a few Habs’ fans didn’t view it as such.

Read more