Four things we learned in the NHL: Picking apart Price

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price comments after a loss to the Florida Panthers.

A star player went down to injury, an overshadowed rookie is starting to raise eyebrows, and the Leafs smashed Nashville.

Here are four things we learned in the NHL Tuesday.

Stamkos tied for league lead in- OH NO

Steven Stamkos‘s time atop the NHL in the points race was short lived.

After scoring his ninth goal of the season to temporarily put him in a tie for the league lead in points with 20, Stamkos appeared to tweak a knee in a puck battle along the boards. He left the game and did not return.

The Winnipeg Jets’ Mark Scheifele recorded an assist later in the night to take back the NHL lead with his 21st point. Stamkos’s linemate Nikita Kucherov, whom Stamkos has had great chemistry with of late, scored two goals and an assist to also reach 21 points.

Despite missing all but one playoff games in last year’s post-season, Stamkos has only missed five regular season games over the past two campaigns after being on the shelf for 45 games in 2013-14 when he broke his leg.

James van Riemsdyk, Esquire

With the Toronto Maple Leafs sitting in seventh place in NHL scoring, it seems every night there’s a different hero in blue. Tuesday saw JVR hog the spotlight with a hat trick.

But really it was the Tyler Bozak line — with van Riemsdyk and Mitch Marner — that stole the show as the trio combined for 11 points. Bozak had four helpers while Marner had a goal and a pair of apples.

JVR did it all in just 14:00 of ice time while taking just three shots on goal. Nashville Predators goaltender Marek Mazanec allowed all six in a 6-2 Maple Leafs win. Mazanec filled in for Pekka Rinne, who was a surprise scratch after going down with a lower-body injury.

The Leafs are undefeated when Marner records a point.

And for those concerned about Auston Matthews’ relative scoring woes this early in the season, he had five shots on goal and nine shot attempts in just under 18 minutes of ice time.

Sneaky Zach Werenski

Ahead of the Maple Leafs’ trio of rookies and behind Patrik Laine in the NHL’s rookie scoring race is Columbus Blue Jackets defenceman Zach Werenski.

The overshadowed freshman scored his fifth goal of the season to tie the game against the Washington Capitals in the third period. Cam Atkinson scored the overtime winner.

Werenski, 19, now has 13 points in 14 games.

The Blue Jackets are now 8-4-2 and sit in ninth place in the NHL in scoring with over three goals per game. Who saw any of that happening?

Perhaps it has something to do with old John Tortorella’s progressive approach to morning skates and over-coaching.

Tortorella. Progressive. Deal with it.

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Picking apart Price

When you’re the best goaltender in the world, you constantly have to live up to that title, even on a Tuesday night in November.

And on this night, there was room for criticism in Carey Price‘s game. Appropriate or necessary? No. But it’s a thing when you find a wrinkle in that man’s near-perfect game.

The Montreal Canadiens were taking on the Florida Panthers Tuesday and Price was on the verge of tying an 89-year-old team record if he won his 11th straight.

He did not. The Panthers did, 4-3 on an overtime winner from Aaron Ekblad.

Aaaand here come the Carey Price stats:

Why is this worth tweeting about? Because it’s so rare, of course. Not to pile on Price, but when a player is this dominant, it’s really only notable when he breaks from his dominant pattern.

And so, to show our unbiassed reporting, here’s Price saving the day in overtime…just before he gave up a stinker for the winner:

The record Price might have tied is held by George Hainsworth, who won 11 straight in 1927.


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