Much of Canada is talking about David Price and the Toronto Blue Jays these days, but it looks like Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens will be stealing all the headlines this hockey season again.
Price, the defending Vezina, Hart, Lindsay and Jennings trophy winner, is in fine form already season. On Thursday he outduelled Henrik Lundqvist in a 2-0 shutout victory over the New York Rangers. That gives Montreal a perfect 5-0-0 record to start the season.
Unbelievably, given Montreal's dominance for so long in the sport, this is the first time in 106 years (remember, the Habs pre-date the NHL itself) Montreal has started the year with five straight victories.
Even better news for fans with a superstitious side is the fact that the three previous times Montreal started the year 4-0-0 they went on to win the Stanley Cup!
Price's shutout was the 35th of his career - all with Montreal. That surpasses 1940s great Bill Durnan for sole possession of fourth place in Canadiens history. The only goaltenders with more shutouts for Montreal are George Hainsworth (75), Jacques Plante (58) and Ken Dryden (46).
And how about Price's dominance of New York of late. Price is now 11-5-1, with seven shutouts in 18 career appearances against the Rangers (1.75 GAA, .943 SV%); According to the stats services gurus at Elias all seven of those shutouts have come in Price’s last 13 games against New York.
All this leads ESPN's Pierre Lebrun to speculate that Price might be starting off another MVP campaign.
In other news from around the NHL:
- Thomas Vanek of Minnesota scored his 300th NHL goal (746 GP).
- Jaromir Jagr of Florida recorded the 124th multi-goal game of his career.
- Elias also reports that Jagre has recorded three or more points in a game for the 192nd time, fourth in NHL history behind Wayne Gretzky (459), Mario Lemieux (272) and Marcel Dionne (202).
- Roberto Luongo of Florida earned his 403rd career victory to tie Grant Fuhr for ninth place in NHL history (and move within four wins of tying Glenn Hall for eighth place). Luongo leads active goaltenders in wins, shutouts (68) and games played (867).
- Marc-Andre Fleury of Pittsburgh recorded his 39th career shutout, third highest among active goaltenders behind Roberto Luongo (68) and Henrik Lundqvist (55).
- How about Coyotes forward Max Domi posting his third multi-point performance in his first four NHL appearances. With 3-3—6, he is tied for first in league rookie scoring with teammate Anthony Duclair (4-2—6)