Tuesday night saw more National Hockey League history made in Montreal with a shutout. The league also announced an All-Star replacement after one of the game’s top goaltenders has decided to not go to St. Louis. Also, a veteran is hoping to translate his recent success in the American Hockey League to the NHL.
Price Climbs Up the Ranks in Montreal
The Calgary Flames walked into the Bell Centre in the midst of a five-game winning streak, but that came to an end thanks to Montreal Canadiens’ goaltender Carey Price.
Price made 31 saves in a 2-0 win over the Flames. It was his second shutout of the season and 46th of his NHL career. He is now tied with Hall of Famer Ken Dryden for the third-most shutouts in the long and storied history of the Canadiens.
“I think everyone knows it; Carey has a special place in the history of this organization,” defenseman Ben Chiarot said of his teammate. “He’s not just one of the best goalies, he’s one of the best players that’s played in the NHL and played for the Montreal Canadiens. He’s done a lot of special things in this city, and tonight is just another example of that.”
Price already has his name all over the Canadiens’ record books. He is the franchise leader with 339 wins and 662 games played. As far as the shutout record goes, he still as a way to go in order to catch two legends of the game. Jacques Plante is second with 58 while George Hainsworth holds the record with 75 shutouts.
Rask to Skip All-Star Game
Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask has decided to not participate in the 2020 NHL All-Star taking place at the end of the month. He decided that spending time with his family after a long playoff run last season is more important to him at this point.
“I had to be kind of selfish, thinking how much hockey we played last year and short summer and thinking to play until June again,” Rask explained of his decision. “So just kind of a selfish decision to spend the time with the family and go away and get your mind, body kind of rejuvenated and be ready for the last couple busy months of the season.”
Per NHL rules, Rask will have to serve a one-game suspension either the game before or the game after the All-Star break. He hinted that it would likely be the first game back at the Winnipeg Jets on Jan. 31.
Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender and reigning Vezina Trophy winner Andrei Vasilevskiy will replace Rask on the Atlantic Division All-Star team. This will be his third All-Star appearance, which is the most by any Lightning goaltender in team history, passing Nikolai Khabibulin.
Vasilevskiy’s recent eight-game winning streak has him tied with Jordan Binnington of the St. Louis Blues for the most wins in the league with 22. On Monday, he was named the NHL’s First Star of the Week for winning all three of this starts while posting a 0.67 goals-against average (GAA) with a .972 save percentage (SV%). He is 22-9-2 on the season with a 2.58 GAA and .913 SV%.
Pickard Earns AHL Honor
On Sunday, the Detroit Red Wings recalled goaltender Calvin Pickard from the Grand Rapids Griffins of the AHL. With Jonathan Bernier expected to be out through the All-Star break with a lower-body injury, the Red Wings were in need of a backup for Jimmy Howard.
Pickard has been playing very well of late for the Griffins, winning five of his last six starts. In fact, he was named the AHL Player of the Week for his recent efforts. He won all three of his starts last week and allowed just four goals on 86 shots. He finished the week with a 1.33 GAA and .953 SV% to help Grand Rapids climb right back into the playoff race in the Central Division.
The 27-year-old netminder has made two appearances and one start with the Red Wings this season and has a 5.32 GAA and .818 SV%. He will look to improve on those numbers the next time he sees some game action.