Power Rankings: Price-less Canadiens keep rolling with Mike Condon

Ken Campbell
Mike Condon (Photo by Francois Lacasse/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Montreal Canadiens announced Monday that goalie Carey Price, who has been out a week with a lower-body injury, went out of the country to seek treatment. It’s all very secretive, but this can’t be terribly good news for the Canadiens or Price.

Luckily for the Canadiens, Mike Condon has stepped in and not missed a beat, helping the Canadiens take seven of eight points and posting a .940 save percentage. Should Price be out for any significant amount of time, the Canadiens will not have to worry about their goaltending tandem of Condon and Dustin Tokarski. Oh yeah, and in case you haven’t noticed, they have a pretty good team playing in front of those guys.

And for that reason, they’re once again on top of thn.com’s Power Rankings. Last week’s rankings are in parentheses.

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Red Wings place in Hall of Fame annals all up to Pavel Datsyuk

Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2015  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Whether or not the 2001-02 Detroit Red Wings enter the annals of the most decorated teams in the history of the game is now up solely to Pavel Datsyuk. The Magic Man must be inducted after he retires for that team to join the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs with the most players who reside in the hallowed hall.

With the additions of Nicklas Lidstrom and Sergei Fedorov, that Red Wings team now has a total of nine Hall of Famers, which currently stands just one behind the standard bearers in that category, the 1955-56 Canadiens and the 1966-67 Maple Leafs. How good was that team in Detroit? Well, consider that team had a fourth line that consisted of Igor Larionov centering Luc Robitaille and Tomas Holmstrom. Their fourth line. Think about that for a minute.

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Montreal Canadiens throwback to ‘World Champion’ days with Winter Classic jerseys

Jared Clinton
Montreal Canadiens 2016 Winter Classic jersey (via tricoloresports.com)

It’s been 91 years since the Montreal Canadiens wore one of the more unique jerseys in NHL history, but the Habs are bringing back their celebratory world champion crest for the 2015-16 Winter Classic.

When the Canadiens head outdoors on Jan. 1, 2016 to kick off the new year against the Bruins, they’ll be sporting an updated version of their 1924-95 jerseys.

The Winter Classic jerseys take that classic sweater, however, and put a new spin on it. Gone is red as the primary color and in its place is white. The color bar on the chest and arms, which was blue with white piping, has been modified to become a blue bar with red piping, helping to break up the white of the sweater. The Canadiens have also altered the positioning of the logos. Read more

Why Dustin Byfuglien escaped a suspension for the Brendan Gallagher hit

Matt Larkin
Dustin Byfuglien (Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Dustin Byfuglien hit on Brendan Gallagher creates a nice opportunity for some education on player safety and how suspensions happen.

The social media assumption after Winnipeg’s Byfuglien appeared to club Montreal’s Gallagher with a high hit Sunday night was that Byfuglien had a lengthy ban from the NHL headed his way. After all, he’d been suspended four games late last season for a crosscheck to the head of New York Rangers center J.T. Miller. Another illegal check to the head would easily place Byfuglien under the repeat offender category according to the collective bargaining agreement and the Department of Player Safety.

The catch here, though, is that none of that history was relevant if Byfuglien’s hit on Gallagher was deemed unworthy of supplemental discipline. And that’s exactly what happened Tuesday after the league’s hearing with Byfuglien. No one can explain the rationale better than the DOPS itself, so here’s the video with player safety director Patrick Burke narrating:

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Dustin Byfuglien flips Brendan Gallagher with booming open-ice hit

Jared Clinton
Dustin Byfuglien flips Brendan Gallagher (via SomeHockeyVids/YouTube)

Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien is a mountain of a man. At 6-foot-5, 250 pounds, he’s one of the most imposing physical figures in the game. And while Montreal Canadiens Brendan Gallagher has never been one to shy away from the physical game, the 5-foot-9, 182-pound right winger may have been wise to dodge an open-ice collision with Byfuglien.

In the first period of Sunday’s game between the Jets and Canadiens, a bouncing puck got through the neutral zone and was headed into Winnipeg’s end with Byfuglien and Gallagher giving chase. The reach of Byfuglien was enough to poke the puck away from Gallagher, who was then absolutely trucked by the Jets blueliner: Read more

Canadiens’ Price out at least a week

Daniel Nugent-Bowman
Carey Price. (Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

The Montreal Canadiens will be without star goaltender Carey Price for at least a week due to a lower-body injury, the team announced Sunday.

Dustin Tokarski has been recalled from the AHL’s St. John’s IceCaps to back up Mike Condon while Price is out of the lineup.

Condon is scheduled to start Sunday when the Canadiens host the Winnipeg Jets.

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Zuccarello, Weise have big offensive nights

Mats Zuccarello (Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

The hats were flying last night and it was as a result of two unlikely marksmen.

New York Rangers right winger Mats Zuccarello and Montreal Canadiens right winger Dale Weise recorded their first career hat tricks in separate victories.

The Rangers defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-1 on the strength of three Zuccarello goals, the final one into an empty net.

Rangers coach Alain Vigneault reunited Zuccarello with linemates Rick Nash and Derick Brassard for the first time in five games and the move paid off handsomely. The trio combined for nine points as Nash and Brassard each had three assists.

As a result, it marked the first time since March 30, 1975 that a Ranger scored at least three goals that were assisted by the same two players, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Steve Vickers scored four with help from Jean Ratelle and Rod Gilbert.

Zuccarello’s hat trick was also the second in the NHL by a Norwegian player, according to Sportsnet. Espen Knutsen of the Columbus Blue Jackets was the first do in 2002.
Zuccarello now has seven goals this season and 52 in 233 career regular season games.

With the win, the Rangers improved their record to 7-2-2 and sit atop the Metropolitan Division, two points clear of the Washington Capitals.

Weise’s goals helped the Canadiens paste the Calgary Flames 6-2 and improve their NHL-best record to 10-2-0.

Dale Weise (Andre Ringuette/Getty Images)

Dale Weise (Andre Ringuette/Getty Images)

Weise opened the scoring in the first period and closed out the scoring in the third, both times receiving assists from linemates Tomas Fleischmann and David Desharnais.

He netted his other goal in the second period when he beat Flames goalie Joni Ortio after he forced a turnover in the Calgary zone.

The goals gave Weise six on the season and 29 in 270 career games.

Zuccarello and Weise became the eighth and ninth players to record hat tricks this season. They joined Evgeny Kuznetsov (Washington), Jason Spezza (Dallas), Zach Parise (Minnesota), Joel Ward (San Jose), Mikkel Boedker (Arizona), Anthony Duclair (Arizona) and Justin Abdelkader (Detroit).

Canadiens’ Carey Price bailed out by P.K. Subban’s unreal hand-eye stick save

Jared Clinton
P.K. Subban's goalline save (via NHL/YouTube)

It’s almost a given that when you’re talking about an incredible save in a Montreal Canadiens game, the man responsible is Habs all-world goaltender Carey Price. But Thursday night it was Montreal’s star blueliner, P.K. Subban, making the highlight-reel stop.

In the third period of Thursday’s contest, with the Oilers trailing the Canadiens 3-1, Edmonton left winger Benoit Pouliot made a fantastic play to keep his stick below the cross bar and bat at a puck that was in the air. The batted puck floated over Price’s shoulder and towards the empty net when Subban, one-upping Pouliot’s baseball swing, tapped the puck out of the air and cleared it to safety: Read more