NHL News & Notes: Price, Wheeler & More

In today’s News & Notes, Carey Price set the all-time win record for a Montreal Canadiens’ netminder, Blake Wheeler was absent from practice Wednesday and Robin Lehner returned to practice

Related: NHL News & Notes: Eichel, Grzelcyk & Voracek

Price Sets Canadiens’ Franchise Wins Record

With his 3-1 victory against the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday, Price set the Canadiens’ all-time wins record for a goaltender with 315 career wins. He passed Canadiens’ legend Jacques Plante and cemented his legacy as one of the greatest netminders in the history of the storied franchise.

Goaltender Carey Price
MONTREAL, QC – MARCH 12: Goaltender Carey Price #31 of the Montreal Canadiens salutes the fans after setting a franchise record with 315 victories surpassing Jacques Plante during the NHL game against the Detroit Red Wings at the Bell Centre on March 12, 2019 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The Montreal Canadiens defeated the Detroit Red Wings 3-1. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

Though Price has yet to play in a Stanley Cup Final, his resume of showing up in big games in the World Junior Championships, Olympics and otherwise is unrivaled. He’s a big-time goaltender who has earned the respect and adulation of his friends, teammates, peers and fans. He earned his name atop the Canadiens’ record books and the team is hoping for more of the same as Price is in the first year of an eight-year, $84 million contract.

Goalies don’t always go fifth-overall in their respective draft classes, but when they perform the way Price has performed throughout his career, that draft status is justified.

Wheeler Absent From Practice

After taking an elbow to his face Tuesday night against the San Jose Sharks and heading down the tunnel for repairs, Wheeler was absent from the Winnipeg Jets’ practice session Wednesday. While this may have created a stir among the Jets’ fanbase, Sara Orlesky reported that both Blake Wheeler and Nathan Beaulieu (who would also miss practice) would be good to go against the Boston Bruins on Thursday.

Blake Wheeler - Winnipeg Jets
Blake Wheeler – Winnipeg Jets, Mar. 10, 2018 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The 32-year-old Wheeler is as consistent as it gets in terms of games-played, goals-scored and points produced. He’s missed only one game over the last four seasons and four games in the last seven.

Any prolonged absence for the 6-foot-5 forward would be less than ideal for the Jets given the fact that he’s once again producing at an elite level with 19 goals and 84 points in 69 games this season. The fact that he’s being declared good to go for Thursday’s contest is a blessing for the Jets as the regular season winds down.

Lehner Returns to Practice

The New York Islanders got some good news Wednesday when Lehner returned to practice for the first time since suffering an upper-body injury on March 5. Lehner has been one of the best goaltenders in the league this season and he’s been an integral part of the Islanders lineup. Potentially getting him back Thursday when the Islanders take on the Montreal Canadiens would be huge for the team.

Buffalo Sabres Jason Pominville New York Islanders Robin Lehner
Buffalo Sabres forward Jason Pominville is stopped by New York Islanders goalie Robin Lehner (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

“When you suspect any type of head injury, it’s a process,” Lehner said of the injury. “You have to go through it. It’s been good. It’s nice to be back. It [stinks] to be away from the guys at this time of the year. Just being around the guys and being around the team is a huge thing.”

When speaking about the injury, head coach Barry Trotz mentioned that Lehner may not be far from a return.

“He made it through practice,” Trotz said. “I haven’t talked to the trainers, if there’s anything there, but I think Robin is real close.”