The boys are back in town (Open thread and links)
The 2013-14 NHL regular season begins tonight, and it starts with the renewal of the Habs' rivalry with the Leafs.
Tim Whamsby of CBC believes that the Montreal Canadiens are counting on a return to form from Carey Price this season. While that seems generally obvious after watching the playoffs last season, it got me wondering what people mean by a return to form. Do they mean the .916 goaltender of a year ago? Do they mean the .923 goalie from the season before that? Or does a return to form mean finally being what Habs fans want him to be, which is the best goalie in the NHL?
If the Canadiens are as good of a team this year as they were last year, and I'm fairly certain that they will be, then Carey Price is no longer the most important player on the team. They happened to make it to 2nd in the East with him having a terrible season. Even if Price's bounceback season is just his career average, that is an extremely significant increase in Montreal's chances to compete for the cup.
So in your opinion, how good does Price have to be in order to make the Habs a contender?
Montreal Canadiens Links
Douglas Murray is out 4-6 weeks with an upper body injury.
Ryan Dixon of Sportsnet writes that Alex Galchenyuk is the next big thing for the Habs.
Zachary Fucale had a bit of an epic game the other night that ended with stopping 10 straight shootout attempts. [Video]
Arpon Basu wrote an excellent season preview for the Habs on the NHL's site.
Speaking of season previews, check out SB Nation's beautiful magazine-style season preview of the Habs.
And yeah, I'm gonna link myself because so much work went into it, check out the EOTP season preview.
Around the NHL Links
NHLPA approves hybrid icing. [Puck Daddy]
Phil Kessel is close to signing an extension with the Leafs. [Pension Plan Puppets]
Mika Zibanejad was sent to the AHL, and Sens fans aren't to happy about it. [Silver Seven]